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CBI chargesheets Himachal CM, Congress calls it political vendetta

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a chargesheet against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others in a disproportionate assets case. Congress cried foul, calling it a case of “political vendetta”.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the chargesheet here before Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal, who has fixed Saturday for consideration of the investigation report.

Besides Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, Life Insurance Corporation agent Anand Chauhan, his associate Chunni Lal, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Lawan Kumar Roach, Vakamullah Chandrashekhara and Ram Prakash Bhatia are also chargesheeted in the case.

The CBI has booked the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with abetment and forgery and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

In its report, the CBI has cited around 220 witnesses to support its allegations.

The Delhi High Court earlier on Friday dismissed the plea of the Chief Minister and his wife seeking to quash an FIR registered by the CBI against them, in connection with a case of corruption.

The CBI had registered the case on September 23, 2016, under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, Life Insurance Corporation agent Anand Chauhan and an associate Chunni Lal.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry found that Virbhadra Singh, during his term as a Union minister from 2009 to 2012, allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.

However, the Congress dismissed it.

“It is an old case. Only a chargesheet has been filed. It is a clear case of political vendetta. There is no question of his resignation. Virbhadra Singh has said that he would fight to the end,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media.

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