NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh and his wife on a petition filed by the CBI challenging the state High Court’s order granting them protection from arrest in a disproportionate assets case.
The court also gave a word of caution to the judges to adopt a uniform approach in recusing themselves from hearing a case and not to follow “pick and choose” policy.
The case pertains to amassing `6 crore worth of unaccounted money when Singh was a union minister. A Bench of Justice F M I Kalifulla and Justice U U Lalit asked Singh and his wife to file a reply by November 5. The notices for Singh and his wife were accepted by senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram. The CBI had sought transfer of the case to Delhi saying Singh was using his influence in the State as the Chief Minister.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the CBI, informed the Bench that, “One of the judges of a division Bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court had once recused himself from hearing a case of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and later heard another case and granted relief.”
On this, the Bench said, “If you do not want to hear a case then, please do not hear the other.” The court said judges should adopt uniform approach in recusing themselves from hearing such cases.
The AG said the High Court order has stalled the investigations into the corruption case.