Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is likely to appear as accused before a special court tomorrow in a nearly Rs 10-crore disproportionate assets case. Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal had on May 8 issued summons against Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and others for appearance on May 22.
Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife, Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia have also been asked to appear. The charge sheet, running into over 500 pages, has claimed that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as a Union minister.
The final report, filed against Singh and eight others for the offences including forgery and corruption, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents. The report also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who is at present in judicial custody. Chauhan was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case related to the DA case.
The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked the CBI not to arrest Singh and directed him to join the probe. On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.