CBI on Tuesday sought the Delhi High Court’s permission to submit a charge sheet in a disproportionate assets case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others, saying it was ready to do so.
However, Justice A K Pathak said he will not hear the matter and transferred it to another bench. He did not give any reason for doing so.
The court said the matter would be listed before the other bench on August 30.
The lawyer for Singh sought two weeks time before the matter was heard, but CBI lawyer Sanjeev Bhandari wanted an earlier date as the agency was ready with its charge sheet.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court in an interim order of October 1, 2015, had restrained the agency from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet against Singh in the case without the court’s permission.
The matter was later transferred by Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, but the interim order has not yet been vacated or stayed.
The Delhi High Court on April 6 this year had directed CBI not to arrest Singh while asking him to join the probe.
The direction had come when the court was disposing of CBI’s application seeking vacation of the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order which, the agency claimed, had “seriously held up” its investigation in the case.
On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi HC, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution(judiciary) from any embarrassment”.
CBI had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the case from the Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi High Court and setting aside of the interim order granting protection from arrest and other relief to Singh.
Singh had filed a petition in Himachal Pradesh HC pleading that searches on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “malafide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency.
Singh had sought directions from the high court to quash CBI’s FIR registered in Delhi against him and others under Sections 13 (2) and 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 (punishment for abetment)of IPC and court had dismissed their plea.