The Delhi high court on Friday dismissed Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s plea seeking to quash an FIR registered against him and his wife by CBI in connection with a disproportionate assets case.
Justice Vipin Sanghi also vacated an order of the Himachal Pradesh high court of October 1, 2015 restraining CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court’s permission.
“The writ petition is dismissed. Stay is vacated,” Justice Sanghi said.
CBI had registered the FIR against Virbhadra Singh and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by the CBI on September 23, 2015.
On October 1, 2015, the Himachal high court had passed an interim order restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet against Singh. The CBI sought to vacate the order, contending that it was hampering the investigation.
The Himachal Pradesh high court order came on Singh’s plea to quash the FIR lodged against him by CBI.
In November 2015, the Supreme Court transferred the DA case against Singh from the Himachal high court to the Delhi high court – stating that the transfer was necessary “to protect the judiciary from embarrassment”.
The apex court, however, did not pass any order to modify the Himachal high court order that restrained the CBI from arresting Singh.
Singh had alleged that CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case as the cause of action did not arise in the territory of Delhi.
The CBI on the other hand had contended that the allegations against Singh in the case are “very serious” as a huge amount of money was involved and the state government has shown “over anxiety” in protecting him.
The agency had said it had jurisdiction to register and investigate the case in Delhi as the disproportionate assets were allegedly acquired by the Congress leader from the income generated when he was a Union minister during UPA regime.
CBI had registered FIR for alleged property of 6 crore amassed between 2009-12 during Virbhadra’s tenure as Union steel minister.
Virbhadra, his wife and children are also facing investigation by the enforcement directorate for the same charges of corruption.