DA case: Virbhadra Singh challenges trial court order

New Delhi: Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court, challenging a trial court’s order directing to frame charges against them in a disproportionate assets case.

Virbhadra Singh and his wife have requested the Delhi High Court to set aside the trial court’s order.

A trial court on December 10, 2018 ordered the framing of criminal misconduct and other charges against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and seven others in a disproportionate assets case. The charges will be formally framed against them on January 29.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had alleged that Virbhadra Singh possessed assets worth around Rs 10 crore, which were in his and his family members’ names.

The CBI said Virbhadra Singh failed to give a satisfactory answer regarding the assets which did not tally with his known income.

The trial court has ordered to frame charges under section 13 (2) read with section 13 (1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act (public servant who commits criminal misconduct and possesses pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income) against the former Chief Minister.

The court also ordered framing of charges under sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court has ordered to frame charges dealing with abetment and forgery against Life Insurance Corp agent Anand Chauhan and Virbhadra Singh’s associates Chunni Lal, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Lawan Kumar Roach, Vakamullah Chandrashekhar and Ram Prakash Bhatia.

The CBI alleged that Pratibha Singh intentionally and actively abated Virbhadra Singh in investing his unaccounted money in her and their children’s names.