The Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on the plea of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others in a money-laundering case. Justice R K guaba heard the arguments in the case and is expected to give his order on Monday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier summoned Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha along with their son Vikramaditya Singh for questioning.
In September 2015, a case was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Singh after taking cognisance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI.
A chargesheet was filed by CBI on March 31, when the high court refused to quash the FIR lodged against the chief minister and his wife in the disproportionate assets case. After which,
The high court also rubbished Singh’s claim that the FIR was the result of a “political vendetta”. Singh after getting bail had said, “It’s a political vendetta. It’s a long battle and I will fight and win the case.” Earlier, in May, CBI told the court that, “Virbhadra is king of the state and is involved in corrupt practices. His medical issues are common, so medical ground shouldn’t considered”.
The ED had termed Singh’s plea for quashing of the money laundering case proceedings as “premature”. It has said that seeking a stay on the proceedings was “not maintainable” as the inquiry into the matter was at a preliminary stage.
Singh and his family has been accused of having amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2009 and 2011, when he was the Union minister of steel. Assets worth about Rs 14 crore have also been attached in this case under the PMLA. In July 2016, Anand Chauhan, LIC agent was arrested by the ED as he was allegedly not cooperating with the investigating officer of the case. It has been alleged that Singh has invested a lot in the name of Chauhan.
The chargesheet, which is over 500 pages and includes the statements of 225 witnesses and 442 documents, accuses Singh of allegedly amassing assets worth nearly Rs 10 crore during his tenure as a Union minister, between 2009 and 2011, which were disproportionate to his total income. The CBI had also charged Virbhadra with forgery and corruption.