Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh,against whom charges have been framed by a special judge here in the CD case,appeared before the court on Friday and pleaded for a speedy trial.
However,the public prosecutor made a strong plea for cancellation of their bail and alleged that the prosecution had enough incriminating material to seek cancellation of their bail. Special judge (anti-corruption) BL Soni later fixed September 12 as the next date of hearing in the case.
Earlier,the judge read out the charges under Section 120 B of IPC and sections 7,11,13 (1) (D) Prevention of Corruption Act to Virbhadra and under sections 120 B and 9 of IPC Act,1988 to his wife Pratibha. The charges were read out again as the two were not present in the court on June 25,when charges were framed against them. They pleaded not guilty and said that they will face the trial.
Stating that being a public figure his entire political career was at stake in the case based on fabricated and false evidence,Virbhadra request to expedite the trial.
However,special public prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma intervened and insisted that an application to cancel Virbhadras bail,filed in April 2011,should be decided on the next date of hearing. He claimed that the prosecution had enough incriminating evidence relating to the accused making attempts to influence the witnesses.
Earlier,on August 31,Virbhadra had withdrawn a case filed by him in the Himachal Pradesh High Court seeking quashing of FIR or CBI probe into the CD case. A division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice D C Chaudhary accepted his plea and treated the petition as dismissed as withdrawn.
The court had asked Virbhadra and his wife to appear on September 7 in the court of special judge,which had framed the charges against the couple. The case against Virbhadra goes back to 1989 when he was Himachal chief minister. The charges are based on an audio CD that purportedly contains a conversation with IAS officer Mohinder Lal and some industrialists regarding monetary transactions for them to invest in the state.
They were booked in the case on August 3,2009,on the basis of the CD released by his arch rival in the Congress and former minister Vijay Singh Mankotia in May 2007 and the prosecution filed the case in the court of special judge in October 2010.
Later chatting with media persons in the bar-room,Singh reiterated that charges against him were fabricated and he would emerge clean after the trial.