Court grants bail to Virbhadra in Himachal CD case

Shimla: A special court today exempted Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh from personal appearance in the CD corruption case registered by the state vigilance bureau.. Special judge B L Soni also granted conditional bail to the couple and fixed March 5 as the next date of hearing.

Virbhadra has been accused of misusing his official position when he was Chief Minister in 1989 and a case was registered against the couple on August 3, 2009 on the basis of an audio CD released by his political adversary and former Congress minister Vijay Singh Mankotia on the eve of Hamirpur Lok Sabha by-election in May 2007.

In the CD, Singh was allegedly talking on the phone to IAS officer Mohinder Lal on monetary exchange. It also contained conversation between Pratibha Singh and some industrialists. Special Public Prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma said the couple got conditional bail and granted exempted from personal appearance till further orders of the court.

Singh and his wife, also a former Lok Sabha member, appeared in the special court for the first time after the chargesheet was filed in the case on October 1. The High Court had dismissed Virbhadra’s petition  seeking transfer of the case to CBI.

Talking to reporters outside the court, Singh alleged that the case was fabricated and result of a political vendetta. ‘The case is just a political vendetta to level allegations against me by the Dhumal led BJP  government. It is not new for me.’

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