No chargesheet against Union steel minister till Sep 24: State



Shimla: Union steel minister Virbhadra Singh today received respite till September 24, the next date for hearing arguments, after the state undertook not to file chargesheet against him till then.

Counsel for state of Himachal Pradesh Satyapal Jain gave this verbal assurance before the division bench of Himachal Pradesh High Court, comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta. As Virbhadra Singh’s counsel objected to the filing of the chargesheet before the trail court on the ground that the matter was pending with the high court and as such it would be inappropriate for the state to proceed against Virbhadra Singh.

Responding to his arguments, Jain said they would not file the chargesheet till September 24. However, he informed the court that the chargesheet in the case was completed on June 1, 2010, and the government could file it in the appropriate court anytime, even tomorrow.

Virbhadra Singh, five-time former chief minister, moved the high court on September 14 for transferring the alleged corruption case against him from the state police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He also sought that the CD case against Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Director General of Police (DGP) DS Manhas also be investigated.

The hearing in the high court lasted approximately three hours in the post-lunch session. As of now, the high court has not issued any notice to the state and other respondents and had simply adjourned the case till September 24.
Earlier in the day, a division bench of Justice RB Misra and Justice VK Sharma recused themselves from the case.

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