LIC agent Anand Chauhan today moved a special court here seeking bail in a disproportionate assets case filed by CBI against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others. Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal posted the matter for arguments on May 29, the next date of hearing, when he will also take up the bail applications of 82-year-old Congress leader, his wife Pratibha Singh and other accused persons. Chauhan, arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case filed in relation to the present matter, is currently in judicial custody in that case.
On May 29, the court will also hear arguments on the bail plea of other accused persons — Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, Managing Director of Tarani Infrastructure Vakamulla Chandrasekhar and co-accused Lawan Kumar Roach, Prem Raj and Ram Prakash Bhatia, who were charge sheeted by CBI for alleged offences including criminal conspiracy, forgery and graft.
The court had on May 8 summoned them after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the CBI.
The CBI charge sheet, running into over 500 pages and containing 442 documents and the depositions of around 225 witnesses, has claimed that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister. The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked the CBI not to arrest Singh and directed him to join the probe.
On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court, 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”.