Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday challenged the maintainability of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Delhi high court that has sought a court-monitored probe into the graft allegations against him.
In an affidavit, filed in pursuance of a court direction, the chief minister has imputed "motive" on lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is representing petitioner NGO Common Cause, and sought dismissal of the PIL.
"That another element to be considered in this particular case is the fact that the real petitioner is Prashant Bhushan and not Common Cause. Prashant Bhushan himself is a member of Aam Aadmi Party that has a particular ideology and agenda, which is in opposition to other major political parties in the country," the affidavit, filed before a bench headed by chief justice G Rohini, said.
It referred to a list of dates and events relating to the alleged allotment of land in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh to Kumud Bhushan Education Society to which Bhushan is a secretary. It said that Bhushan "nurtured enmity towards respondent no. 5 (Singh)" as he, as the chief minister, did not approve the proposal on land allocation to the society on November 12, 2006. Later, the BJP government came in power and the land was allocated to the society in 2010 on the ground that it would use it for the purpose mentioned by the society, it said.
The affidavit alleged that on October 25, 2013, the anti-corruption authorities found that the society violated the condition and hence, the land should come back to the state government. The PIL was filed in November 2013 in the high court, it said adding "from the above factual recital, it is apparent that the present petition has been filed to further the personal grievances/goals of Bhushan, who is admittedly member of the general council of the petitioner (NGO)".
Dealing with the alleged tax violations, Singh said that the cause of actions have arisen in Himachal Pradesh.
The NGO, in the PIL, alleged that Singh, during his earlier tenure as the chief minister and union minister, was involved in corruption, money laundering and forgery. The charges have been rubbished by Singh.