Millennium Post

Delhi HC asks CBI to speed up probe against Virbhadra

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked CBI to expedite the preliminary enquiry into allegations of corruption and bribery against north Indian state Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and to take it to its logical conclusion, saying the agency cannot take so much time.

‘Why are you not speeding it (preliminary enquiry) up? Fact of the matter is to do it fast whatever you are doing. You cannot take so much time.

‘We are of the view that the preliminary enquiry (PE) ought to be speeded up and taken to its logical conclusion,’ a bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul said.

The court also sought within two weeks an up-to-date status report from CBI on what steps it has taken so far regarding the allegations against Singh.

The bench also sought the agency’s reply on an application, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of NGO Common Cause, alleging that Virbhadra Singh’s wife and kids have obtained unsecured loans of crores of rupees from some private companies which in return have been granted favours by the HP Chief Minister. ‘Payoffs have been shown as loans,’ Bhushan claimed before the court.

During the proceedings, Bhushan contended that despite having all documentary evidence for more than two years, the agency is still conducting preliminary enquiry and not even an FIR has been lodged against Singh.

The bench agreed with Bhushan and said,’He is right. You cannot take so much time. Bhushan also sought directions to lodge an FIR against Singh, but the court said it will first go through the updated status report.

The court also went through the CBI’s status report filed earlier in a sealed cover as per which the PE is still going on. The report was again put back into the sealed cover by the bench.

Meanwhile, in a major setback for BJP in Himachal Pradesh ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Governor Urmilla Singh on Wednesday granted sanction to prosecute former chief minister PK Dhumal in a case related to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).

Sources in the state’s Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau said the charge-sheet in the case would be filed in court soon.

Prominent among the 18 persons named in the charge-sheet are Dhumal, his MP son Anurag Thakur (who is also president of HPCA), two Additional Chief Secretary Deepak Shanan, IAS officer Ajay Sharma (currently posted as DC, Bilaspur) and then Kangra deputy commissioner R S Gupta.
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