The CBI on Tuesday claimed in the Delhi high court that it has the jurisdiction to register and investigate a disproportionate assets case against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife.
It, however, sought modification of the Himachal Pradesh high court’s October 1, 2015 order restraining the agency from arresting, interrogating or filing a chargesheet against Singh, saying the direction has “tied our hands completely”.
The agency also sought dismissal of Singh’s plea to quash the FIR against him, saying his prayer was “frivolous and not maintainable”.
“CBI has all power to register a case and it has not violated any law nor has exceeded its jurisdiction by lodging a case against the accused persons (Singh and his wife),” the agency submitted before Justice Pratibha Rani.
The agency was replying to Singh’s claim that CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case.
He also questioned how CBI could raid his premises when the case was already pending in Delhi high court, as also before the Income Tax tribunal and other tax authorities, where all documents relating to his returns had been submitted.
The agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia and CBI standing counsel Sanjeev Bhandari, told the court that it has the locus standi to probe the matter as some of the properties under question were also located in Delhi.
After hearing the brief arguments, Justice Pratibha Rani sought written legal submissions from both sides and listed the matter on February 25.
On November 5, the Supreme Court had transfered Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh high court to Delhi high court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case but “simply” transferring the petition “in the interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.