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CBI moves SC, seeks to question Himachal CM

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New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday moved the Supreme Court to challenge a Himachal Pradesh High Court order restraining it from interrogating Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife in an alleged disproportionate assets case and sought their custodial interrogation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also filed a petition in the apex court to seek transfer of the case against Virbhadra Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi, where a similar case is pending against him.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said the plea would be heard on the opening day after the Dussehra holidays. Additional Solicitor General PS Patwalia mentioned the matter before the court in the morning and sought early hearing. The high court order of October 1 has virtually stalled the investigation process, he said.

The high court has asked the CBI not to arrest the chief minister and his wife in the disproportionate assets case. However, it directed the central agency to go ahead with the investigation.

“…by way of abundant precaution, it’s made clear that the petitioners shall not be arrested,” a division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Singh Thakur said while hearing a writ petition filed by Virbhadra Singh.

In his petition, Virbhadra Singh said the CBI’s action of raiding his residences on September 26 in Delhi and Shimla was mala fide and political vendetta.

Regarding interrogation of Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh following the registration of the case on September 23, the high court said: “It’s also made clear that as and when the dossier is complete, it shall be open for the CBI to approach this court for permission to interrogate the petitioners in accordance with law.”

It clarified to the CBI that it shall not file a challan without the express leave of this court. “These observations shall have no bearing on whether a case in pending, including before the Delhi High Court.”

The next date of hearing in the high court is November 18.

The CBI raided Virbhadra Singh’s private residence, Holly Lodge, in Jakhu Hills in Shimla, on September 26. At that time, the chief minister and his family were busy with his daughter’s marriage.

The case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and an associate, Chunni Lal.

“The FIR was the outcome of a preliminary inquiry which revealed that Virbhadra Singh, while serving (as union minister) during 2009-2012, had allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore in his name and in the name of his family members which were found to be disproportionate to his known sources of income,” a CBI official said.

(IANS)

 

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SC Warned Amrapali Directors, says “Would Be Rendered Homeless If Tried To Play Smart”

The company Directors were asked to file affidavits within 15 days listing their movable and immovable properties.

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The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons
The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Directors of the Amrapali Group to file details of all their movable and immovable assets along with valuation, and warned them that they would be rendered homeless if they tried “to play smart.”

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit clarified that all the properties of the directors would be sold if the company failed to raise Rs 5,112 crore required to complete its unfinished housing projects.

The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore.

The company Directors were asked to file affidavits within 15 days listing their movable and immovable properties.

"Don't burden the home-buyers. Don't try to be smart. Tell your Directors also," the bench told the counsel. Wikimedia Commons
“Don’t burden the home-buyers. Don’t try to be smart. Tell your Directors also,” the bench told the counsel. Wikimedia Commons

When the company’s counsel Gaurav Bhatia told the court that home-buyers will also pay to help it raise Rs 5,112 crore, the court said: “The home-buyers will not pay a penny.”

“Don’t burden the home-buyers. Don’t try to be smart. Tell your Directors also,” the bench told the counsel.

“Tell us how you intend to arrange the money? Otherwise, you will be rendered homeless,” the bench said.

The court told the Directors that as they had made buyers wait for their homes, they will also search for their homes if they don’t submit the plan to arrange for money for the unfinished projects.

“Days are not away when you (Directors) will compel us to do this. If necessary, we will take every strip (of land) if you compel us. Next time, come (to the court) with the proposal,” the top court observed.

The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers. Wikimedia Commons
The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers. Wikimedia Commons

When the court was told that electricity supply at two projects of Amrapali — Zodiac and Silicon Valley — has been disconnected, it ordered the power companies concerned to restore electricity by Wednesday itself.

The court posted the matter for August 14.

On August 1, the court slammed the Amrapali Group for playing “fraud and dirty games” with it and ordered freezing of bank accounts of all the Directors of its 40 firms, besides attaching their personal properties.

Public sector undertaking National Building Construction Corporation was also directed to take over all 16 unfinished projects of the Amrapali Group.

The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers.

Also Read: Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on plea challenging polygamy, nikah halala

The apex court has been hearing a batch of pleas filed by home-buyers who have sought quashing of the National Company Law Tribunal order to admit insolvency proceedings against the Amrapali Group.

The buyers belong to low and middle income groups and must be granted equal protection as other stakeholders, the financial and operational creditors, the home buyers’ plea said. (IANS)