HC reserves order on petition against Virbhadra's acquittal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2014 20:32 IST

Himachal Pradesh high court (HC) on Monday reserved its judgment on the plea of former IAS SM Katwal against the acquittal orders of chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh in compact disk (CD) case.

The court of Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary on Monday heard arguments on the petition of SM Katwal for condonation of delay of 96 days in filing appeal along with main petition. After hearing the arguments, the court reserved the judgment.

On December 24, 2012, a day before Virbhadra Singh sworn in as chief minister of the state for the sixth time, a trial court had acquitted him and his wife of corruption charges.

SM Katwal had filed the appeal before the high court challenging the orders of the court of BL Soni, special judge (forests), Shimla of December 24, 2012, in corruption case involving an audio CD allegedly containing the conversation of Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh with an IAS officer, Mohinder Lal (deceased), for obtaining monetary advantages from private companies.

Katwal, who has remained chairman of Himachal Pradesh Service Selection Board, said the state government did not file an appeal against the orders as it was headed by Virbhadra Singh himself, who was an accused in the case.

The applicant said that he was de-facto complainant in the case as he first filed a petition, seeking directions for conducting CBI inquiry into the case, and that he was a whistle-blower, who had initiated the legal proceedings culminating in the registration of the criminal case.

In March this year, the HC had issued a notice to chief minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh on the petition of Katwal.

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