Delhi High Court posts hearing in the case for August 8
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday filed a fresh status report before the Delhi High Court over the graft charges against Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
This is the second status report filed by the CBI on the orders given by the High Court on a public interest litigation petition filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan representing a NGO Common Cause. The next date of hearing is fixed for August 8, which has given a long relief to Mr. Singh who is busy campaigning for his wife in Mandi and other Congress candidates in the State contesting the Lok Sabha elections.
The court earlier expressed its displeasure over the slow investigations by the CBI against Mr. Singh and directed the agency to expedite the process into the charges of corruption, money laundering and possession of assets disproportionate to know sources of his income.
The CBI is investigating serious corruption allegations against Mr. Singh that relate to the period when he was the Union Steel Minister.
The CBI says that it was made a respondent by the petitioners in the writ petition that alleged that Mr. Singh had obtained bribes from the Ispat group of companies when he was the Union Steel Minister between May’ 2009 to January’ 2011. He had tried to legitimise the same by showing it as his agricultural income by filing revised income tax returns for the years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Mr. Bhushan also filed an instant miscellaneous application on January 8’ 2014 and alleged that serious acts of corruption were also committed by Mr. Singh in allotting a hydro-electricity project to a promoter Venture Energy and Technology private limited in Himachal.
The promoter of the project was given undue extensions to start construction in his project. And Ms Pratibha Singh, wife of the Chief Minister, accepted in her affidavit before the Election Commission that she was given an unsecured loan of Rs 1.5 crore and her husband was given Rs. 2.40 crore by the same promoter, Vakamulla Chandrashekhar.
Huge loans and shares in some companies were also given to the children of Mr. Singh by the same person through his other ventures, said the CBI.