Virbhadra fails to get reprieve in graft case

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HimVani

Shimla (Jan 7): Union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh did not get any reprieve from the Himachal Pradesh High Court seeking quashing of the corruption case filed against them, or to transfer investigation to the CBI and to stay the trial court proceedings in the case.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice V K Ahuja asked the petitioners to seek this relief from the trail court hearing the graft case. The court held that the trial court is entitled to hear the prayers before proceeding to the high court under Section 239. “However, it is made clear that in case the charges are framed under Section 240 of CrPC, further
steps in the case should be taken only after the disposal of writ petition, the court said.

The court had reserved its order on January 5 after hearing arguments from both sides. The court had also disposed of a similar petition of the Union minister and his wife earlier seeking relif into the FIR lodged by the state vigilance and anticorruption sleuth.

The case relates to an audio CD released by Vijay Singh Mankotia, former state minister, in a news conference at Dharamshala on May 28, 2007, alleging that it contained the voices of Mr and Mrs Singh, retired IAS officer Mohinder Lal and one K N Sharma (now dead) discussing corrupt deals.

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