Finally Virbhadra’s petition taken up by First bench at Himachal HC

Shimla: In a curious twist to the petition filed by Virbhadra Singh seeking transfer of his alleged corruption case to the CBI, three judges of the Himachal High Court refused to hear the petition and finally the matter was taken up before the bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta.

Initially the case was listed before a division bench comprising Justice RB Misra and Justice VK Sharma, however both of them expressed their inability to hear the case. The case could not be taken up yesterday as Justice Rajeev Sharma, one of the members of the bench, declined to hear the case.

Senior Counsel for the petitioner RS Cheema mentioned the matter before the First bench that case could not be taken up and a new bench be constituted so that hearing could take place.

Thereafter, the Chief Justice constituted a special division bench with himself and Justice Deepak Gupta as members. The bench heard the plea of petitioner and the state at length but the hearing could not be competed till rising of the court.

During the hearing Senior advocate and former Advocate General of Punjab appearing for Union Minister contended before the bench that the FIR has been registered on the basis of a CD whose origin is not known. He further argued that the alleged communication has been alleged to have taken place in the late 1989 and beginning of the 1990. He added that at that time audio cassettes were in use and not CD’s. Moreover, the present investigating agency is acting under the influence of political bosses.

Senior advocate, Satya Pal Jain argued for the state that there are sufficient material with the investigating agency to prove involvement of Virbhadra Singh in this case. He however submitted that the state would not take any further action in the case till the next hearing.

The case has now been adjourned for next Friday.

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