Special CBI court grants bail to Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh, wife Pratibha Singh in DA case
Relief for all accused on personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each and surety of like amount; can’t leave country without court nodUpdated: May 29, 2017 16:35 IST
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and wife Pratibha Singh were on Monday granted bail by a special court here in connection with the Rs 10-crore disproportionate assets case.
Special judge Virender Kumar Goyal granted the relief to all accused on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each and a surety of the like amount.
The court, however, asked them not to leave the country without its permission.
Earlier, the CBI opposed the bail plea of the chief minister, saying the accused may influence witnesses and the probe in the case.
The public prosecutor said Virbhadra was the “king of the state” and if granted bail, no one will dare come forward to depose against him.
In their bail plea, Virbhadra, who has not been arrested so far, and the other accused submitted that the investigation is complete as the CBI has filed the chargesheet.
But the CBI said the investigation in the case was on and granting bail may hamper it.
The 82-year-old politician showed medical reports, saying he was suffering from serious ailments.
The accused claimed that they will be able to look after their case in a better manner if they are out on bail.
On May 22, Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha appeared as accused in the DA case and sought bail.
The CBI has chargesheeted Virbhadra, his wife, Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, managing director of Tarani Infrastructure Vakamulla Chandrasekhar and co-accused Lawan Kumar Roach, Prem Raj and Ram Prakash Bhatia for alleged offences, including criminal conspiracy, forgery and corruption
The chargesheet also names as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who was arrested in the case and is in judicial custody
*On May 8, court summoned them after taking cognisance of CBI chargesheet. The 500-page chargesheet with 225 statements of witnesses and 442 documents claims Virbhadra amassed assets worth Rs 10 crore disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as Union steel minister.
*On July 9, 2016, Chauhan was arrested by Enforcement Directorate in money laundering case related to the DA case
*Matter transferred by Supreme Court to Delhi high court and on April 6, 2016, it asks CBI not to arrest Virbhadra, directing him to join probe
* On November 5 2016, the apex court transferred Virbhadra’s plea from Himachal Pradesh high court to the 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”.
First Published: May 29, 2017 13:20 IST