A Delhi court on Monday ordered that charges be framed against former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for criminal misconduct, and amassing disproportionate assets of over Rs 1 crore. The court said Singh intended to cause a loss to the exchequer by misrepresenting unaccounted money as proceeds of apple sales, PTI reported.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Arun Bhardwaj said that charges of forgery and attempt to cheat could also be laid out against the Congress leader. The court also charged Singh’s wife Pratibha and seven others with abetting the offences.
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.
The court said Virbhadra Singh and Anand Chauhan “fraudulently and dishonestly” signed a memorandum of understanding by antedating it to June 15, 2008, for which the Central Bureau of Investigation had found evidence. The document showed unaccounted money as sale proceeds of apples, the court added.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on January 7, and told the defendants they would have to tell the judge on that date whether they plead guilty to the charges.
In August, a court had granted Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh bail in a case of money laundering