New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday transferred a plea filed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in an alleged corruption case from the high court of his state to that of Delhi.
A bench of justices F.M.I. Kalifulla and U.U. Lalit said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case but ”simply” transferring the petition “in the interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment.”
The bench also ordered deletion of allegations and counter allegations levelled by Singh and the Central Bureau of Investigation, the two parties in the case.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress chief minister, said the transfer would send a wrong message.
But the Supreme Court said it would not deal with any aspect of the matter.
The CBI says the chief minister has amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Singh denies this and says the CBI case is political vendetta.
The bench has not agreed to the CBI’s special leave petition for staying the October 1 order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court restraining it from arresting Singh and his wife and requiring it to inform the court when it wanted to interrogate them.
Singh had sought directions from the high court to quash the September 23 case registered by the CBI against him and his wife under Sections 13 (2) and 13(1) (e) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Delhi HC is also hearing a PIL filed by a non-government organisation alleging that Singh had received unaccounted money to the tune of nearly Rs 5 crore.
According to the NGO Common Cause, Singh’s revised IT returns for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 reportedly show an increase in agricultural income of Rs 6.10 crore.