Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, an accused in a disproportionate assets case along with others, on Thursday claimed in Delhi high court that the way in which the probe was conducted showed an “element of enthusiasm” on CBI’s part indicating an element of “malafide”.
Questioning CBI’s jurisdiction in registering the case here, his counsel told Justice Vipin Sanghi that the court should look into the “ramifications” of the matter as the agency could keep doing its probe which might finish the political career of the Congress leader.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Singh, said as per CBI’s case, all assets alleged to be disproportionate to the known source of income were in Himachal Pradesh and the agency should not have lodged the case in Delhi, on the basis of the fact that his client was then a union minister here.
“The manner in which probe was conducted (by CBI) shows an element of enthusiasm which would not have been there in normal circumstances. That is why a court-monitored mechanism is essential. There is an element of malafide in the matter,” Sibal told the court.
He said it should be ensured that CBI was not biased against anyone based on the political party which is in power in the Centre or the state.
Sibal said CBI had conducted first preliminary enquiry (PE) and thereafter sought to close the case, but later it carried out a second PE on the same set of facts which were dealt with earlier.
He argued that the check period in a DA case “cannot give CBI the jurisdiction to lodged a case here” as jurisdiction would be made out at the place where the offence is alleged to have been committed.
“There must be a court crafted roadmap in such matters... What will give you (CBI) jurisdiction is the place where an offence is committed,” Sibal said during the arguments which would continue on September 23.
CBI had earlier told the high court that its probe in the DA case against Singh and others was “complete” and it wanted to file the charge sheet in the matter.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court in an interim order on October 1, 2015, had restrained the agency from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet against Singh in the case without court’s permission.