Mankotia files plea for cancellation of Virbhadra's bail



Shimla (April 14): Former tourism minister in the Virbhadra Singh cabinet, Major (retd) Vijai Singh Mankotia has moved a plea before Himachal Pradesh High Court seeking cancellation of bail granted to the Union minister and his wife in the infamous CD case, beside demanding ouster of Singh from Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

The copy of the plea released to media mentions that he has requested the high court to be made party in the case in which he had alleged that two prime witnesses were won over by the Union minister. Virbhadra Singh had also filed a defamation case against Mankotia for releasing the audio cassette and the CD containing the voices of Singh, his wife and some industrialists.

The former minister while giving a detailed account of Radia tapes instance and role of big corporate houses said the names of prosecution witnesses cannot be deleted from the list of witnesses by merely filing affidavits deposing that the statements were falsely recorded.

The two witnesses, industrialists Kapil Mohan and Mr Jain, have filed affidavits in this regard in the high court and have wanted their names to be deleted before facing cross-examination. The statements of these two witnesses were recorded in case (FIR no. 27/2009) in August 2009 under various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Mankotia had identified the voices recorded of all the concerned people.

On the basis of this he wants to become a respondent in the writ petition and to be heard before passing of any final orders by the court, he said. Mankotia reiterated that though he has taken retirement from active politics yet, he would continue struggle against all corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

“Backtracking by witnesses in the high profile cases is a common practice (Jessica Lal and BMW case) but the role of civil society cannot be undermined now,” he said while pledging to take corruption cases to the streets now. He claimed the first meeting of anti-corruption delegates from Himachal, comprising civil society activists, youth and ex-servicemen, will be held in Dharamsala in May and it would be aligned to Anna Hazare’s nationwide anti-corruption crusade.

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