A Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh seeking a directive to CBI to supply a complete copy of the FIR lodged against him and others in a disproportionate assets case.
The court said since statements and calculations relating to the alleged disproportionate assets were not annexed with the FIR registered in the case those cannot be supplied to Singh.
81-year-old Singh had filed a plea seeking directions to CBI to supply a complete copy of FIR, including the statements relating to assets at the beginning and end of check period and income and expenses during that time.
“I have considered the submissions. The preliminary inquiry is held only with a purpose to know as to whether the case is fit for registration of regular investigation. FIR is the starting point of investigation,” special CBI judge Vinod Kumar said.
“If any document or annexure has not been made a part of FIR, the copy of the same is not required to be supplied to any accused,” the court said.
“In these circumstances, I am convinced that the statements/calculations are not the annexures to the aforesaid complaint/FIR and hence the same cannot be supplied to the applicant (Singh). Application is accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.
The court also noted in its order the relevant portion of FIR as per which assets at the beginning of check period was found to be Rs 21,66,99,108, while at the end of the period, it stood at Rs 28,10,80,327.
Similarly, it noted that as per FIR, the income during the check period was Rs 6,37,51,584 and expenses Rs 5,97,41,147. As per the FIR, Rs 6,03,70,782 allegedly amassed by Singh and his family members was disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The CBI had lodged a preliminary enquiry, which was converted into a regular case this September, against Singh and his family members for allegedly amassing disproportionate wealth of over Rs six crore during 2009-2011 when he was serving as the Union minister of steel in the UPA government.
The FIR had been lodged under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC, naming Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and Chunni Lal Chauhan.
During the arguments on the plea, Singh’s counsel told the court that statements regarding assessment of the alleged disproportionate income were part of the FIR and should have been filed in the court by the agency.
CBI said the FIR, along with the complaint received from R L Yadav, CBI’s deputy superintendent of police, was filed in the court on September 24 without any delay.
The agency also contended that FIR submitted in the court was complete in all respects. The court had earlier ordered that records of preliminary enquiry be placed before it.
“I have perused the case diaries and record of preliminary enquiry and I am convinced that none of the aforesaid statements are part of the complaint of DSP R L Yadav nor that of FIR,” the court noted in its order.
In an unprecedented action on a serving chief minister, CBI had on September 26 searched his official residence and 10 other places in connection with the case on the day of the wedding of his daughter.
Searches were also carried out at his official residence in Delhi, his two houses in Shimla and Rampur and a farm house in Mehrauli in South Delhi which is in the name of his son Vikramaditya Singh.