The Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that there was enough material on record to register a case of money laundering against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
A bench headed by chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath asked the income tax department to file before it the chief minister's tax assessment record and other documents within a week.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said, "Prima facie there is enough material on record to register an FIR (against Singh) and it is for the CBI to explain why it is holding back the case. It's a clear case of money laundering."
The ASG was responding to the submissions made by advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is representing NGO Common Cause, that an undue delay has been caused by the agency in registering an FIR despite the fact that there is sufficient material to prosecute the chief minister.
The CBI had earlier told the high court that it can probe allegations of corruption and bribery against the Congress leader during his tenure as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh in 2002 after the court issues necessary order.
Bhushan had sought a CBI inquiry into the corruption allegations against Singh when he was union steel minister.
Bhushan told the court there were some recent instances of money laundering and corruption by Singh's family members. The CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry one-and-a-half years ago but it has gone nowhere, argued Bhushan.
The court posted the matter for August 20 when it will have a look at the status report filed by the CBI.