The Delhi High Court Monday refused to the quash the money laundering case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others. Justice R K Guaba, after hearing the arguments in the case, refused to grant relief to the accused. “The petitions are devoid of substance, consequentially the same are dismissed,” Justice R K Gauba said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier 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. The ED has summoned the 83-year-old chief minister, his wife Pratibha Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh for questioning in this regard.
The money laundering case against Singh dates back to September 2015, when a case was registered by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking into cognisance a criminal complaint filed by the CBI. The probe agency attached assets worth about Rs 14 crore in this case.
Earlier in March, a chargesheet was filed by the CBI when the high court refused to quash the FIR lodged against the chief minister and his wife for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to their assets.
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”.