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Charges framed against Former Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh by Delhi court, as ED files fresh charge-sheet

The CBI charge-sheet was filed against nine people under IPC section of 109 (abetment) and section 465 (punishment for forgery). It was based on statements given by 225 witnesses and evidence from 442 documents.

Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s troubles have increased as a Delhi court has framed charges against him on the basis of a 500-page charge-sheet submitted by CBI. Along with this, ED also has submitted a charge sheet against him in the court in a money laundering case.

The CBI charge-sheet was filed against nine people under IPC section of 109 (abetment) and section 465 (punishment for forgery). It was based on statements given by 225 witnesses and evidence from 442 documents.

The court on 10 December last year, had ordered framing of charges against the Congress leader for criminal misconduct and gathering disproportionate assets worth Rs 10 crores. The court had also said that Singh, along with LIC agent Anand Chauhan, intended to cause loss of tax to authorities by displaying unaccounted money as sale proceeds of apples, by forging papers and ante-dating Memorandum of Understandings.

For forgery charges, the court said that Singh can be booked under section 13(2) for misconduct and section 13(e) for amassing assets 192% over his total income.

“Since an attempt was also made to cheat the Income Tax authorities using a false document (ante-dated MoU) to procure favourable Income Tax assessment order, Virbhadra Singh is also liable to be charged under section 511 (attempt) of IPC read with section 420 (cheating) of IPC” The court order was quoted by Indian Express.

“Today, the case is listed for recording plea of the accused no 1, Virbhadra Singh and accused no 3 Anand Chauhan to the charge framed against them pursuant to order passed on December 10, 2018,” the judge said.

Special CBI judge Arun Bhardwaj read the charges to the accused leader. Virbhadra Singh pleaded innocence and demanded the commencement of trial to ascertain the truth. The CBI can examine the evidence and question witnesses on April 3, 4 and 5.

Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh, who is also charge-sheeted along with 7 others for abetment of offense, moved a plea demanding permanent exemption from physical appearance in the court. CBI has been asked to reply to plea, one day before the next date of hearing.

The other seven accused are LIC agent Anand Chauhan, Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia.

In a separate case filed by Enforcement Directorate, the third supplementary charge sheet has been submitted against Virbhadra Singh in a money laundering case. It was filed through advocate Nitesh Rana and NK Matta. The court will hear the case on March 18.

The case involving Singh and others was transferred by the Supreme Court to Delhi court from Himachal Pradesh court, in 2016.

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