Court summons Virbhadra in graft case



Shimla (Oct 23): A special court on Saturday issued summons to Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh over filing of chargesheet against them by the State Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau here today.

The special court (forest) lead by BL Soni issued notice to Singh and his wife to be present in the court on November 27, taking cognizance of a challen filed by the VB. Before announcing order in the court, the judge heard the plea of defense counsel Sharawan Dogra, who urged the court that he wanted to place some material record before the court. He cited the observation on Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment in which it had ruled that the trial court was entitled to hear the accused before initiating trail. Public persecutor Jaiwan Lal Sharma opposed the move by citing the Supreme Court judgment which did not permit accused to be heard before taking cognizance.

Accepting contention of the defense, the court ordered summon to Union Steel Minister and his wife and asking him to be present in persons on the next date of hearig on November 27, 2010. Soni held that the court would hear the accused before framing of charge during the trail. Taking to media persons outside the court, the public persecutor said both the accused have been ordered to be present before the court where they would have to apply for bail.

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