The entire Opposition and even a faction of the Congress is keenly watching the outcome of the latest status report filed by the CBI in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday on the ongoing investigations of the alleged corruption charges against Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
The CBI submitted the sealed envelope the report before a Division Bench of acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and the date for hearing and passing further orders has been fixed for April 2.
The orders eagerly awaited by the supporters and detractors of Mr. Singh can have a serious outcome on the politics of the hill State especially in the wake of coming Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Singh’s wife is fighting elections from the Mandi constituency as a Congress candidate and the PCC did not recommend any other name from this parliamentary seat.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan filed a PIL petition challenging that the agency was not investigating the complaint made in January against the allegations of corruption by Mr. Singh when he was Minister of Steel in Union cabinet. An NGO “Common Cause” filed a petition alleging corruption; money laundering and disproportionate assets against the Chief Minister maintaining that it is an open and shut case of corruption and illegal wrongdoings by Mr. Virbhadra Singh.
The PIL filed by Mr. Bhushan stated that there were several primary documents like Income Tax returns and affidavits filed with nomination papers, linking the Congress leader to “dubious transactions” and investments involving large sums of money when he was a Union Minister.
Detailed and well documented complaints were made to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner and the CBI on January 11, 2013 but the government or any other agency did not bother to initiate any investigation against Singh, said Mr Bhushan.
The PIL stated that on Dec 1, 2010, the I-T department seized from the office of Ispat Industries Limited some documents whose spread sheet purports to show that payments were made to one “VBS.”
Mr. Singh had denied any dealing with Ispat Industries and said the initials “VBS” did not correspond to his name.