Vijay Singh Mankotia, former Congress leader and key witness of the prosecution in the CD case against former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh did not appear before the court on 7th November after being summoned by the court to record his witness.
Mr. Mankotia who handed over the CD and cassette containing purported voice of former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh allegedly discussing some money deals with a bureaucrat and some businessmen, did not appear before the Special Judge Shimla B.L. Soni, taking the exemption from the personal appearance in the court on the medical grounds.
Jiwan Lal, Special Prosecutor pleading the case for State Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau, when contacted said that Mr. Mankotia is likely to record his witness, but he did not turn up in the court, and is probably to appear on the next date as court also has fixed the recording of the witness on Nov 16 and 17.
There are about 63 witnesses in the case, the court has summoned 43 of them for Nov. 6, 7, 8 and 9 and rest 20 witnesses on Nov 16 and 17 in the case. He said that court examined few more witnesses of investigating agency State Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau and Central Forensic Laboratory on 7th and 8th November but some senior officials including agency officials like Digvijay Singh Negi and Santosh Patiyal did not appear in the case, to be summoned again.
It is worthwhile to mention here that Mr. Vijay Singh Mankotia recently return in the Congress fold led by Mr. Virbhadra Singh and also fought election on party ticket from Shahpur assembly segment in Kangra district and Mr. Virbhadra Singh also campaigned for him. Now the question arises that whether Mr. Mankotia would become hostile in the court against the prosecution declining his earlier statements and his charge in the CD case or continue to remain vocal against Mr. Singh to retain his image in the public. Meanwhile neither Mr. Mankotia nor Mr. Singh have announced publicly their stand on CD case.
The resent compromise between the two over the political battle were signs of retreat against each other, raising huge question on each other’s credibility and morality, this issue was also raised by the BJP during election campaign. It will not be easy for Mr. Mankotia to deny his public speeches over CD and his recorded statements.