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CBI moves SC against Himachal Pradesh HC order on CM Virbhadra

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Shimla :The CBI today moved the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing on its plea challenging Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order granting protection against possible arrest and other relief to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife in a disproportionate assets case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu agreed to hear CBI’s two petitions on reopening of the court after the Dussehra break.

The bench, also including Justice Arun Mishra, however refused to list the matter for hearing tomorrow, saying that it is not so urgent.

Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for the probe agency, said the high court order has virtually stalled the investigation process by granting relief such as protection from arrest and no interrogation of accused without its prior permission.

He said that the high court not only restrained CBI from arresting the Chief Minister but also embargoed it from filing charge sheet without its prior leave.

The probe agency has filed a transfer petition and a special leave petition in the apex court seeking transferring the case against Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi and setting aside of the order passed by the state high court, respectively.

The Himachal Pradesh HC had on October 1 restrained CBI from arresting Singh and his wife in the DA case but had allowed the enquiry in the matter to proceed.

Admitting the petition of Singh against, the high court had also directed CBI to keep the court informed before interrogating the couple.

The chief minister had filed a petition in the high court pleading that the raids on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “malafide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency.

PTI