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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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Himachal Pradesh Collaborates with World Bank for Developing Waste Management Strategies

A World Bank team led by environment specialist Pyush Dogra and a Korea Green Growth Trust Fund team headed by Lee Dong Hoon are currently touring the state.

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World Bank's prompt decission to pause two seperate projects with India nad Pakistan came after India's objection against it
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Himachal Pradesh will collaborate with the World Bank and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund for developing agro climatic zone-based municipal solid waste management strategies, a state government official said on Wednesday.

A World Bank team led by environment specialist Pyush Dogra and a Korea Green Growth Trust Fund team headed by Lee Dong Hoon are currently touring the state.

The areas of collaborations include climatic zone-wise option for integrated solid waste management, support for technology transfer and financial assistance for developing small and micro models for waste management, Additional Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman told reporters here.

World bank, himachal pradesh
The areas of collaborations include climatic zone-wise option for integrated solid waste management, support for technology transfer and financial assistance for developing small and micro models for waste management. Pixabay

State Environment Department Director D.C. Rana said the teams would undertake technical analysis of solid waste management in three countries – Pakistan, Nepal and India. In India, they will work with the Himachal Pradesh government.

 

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He said the analysis would be completed in nine months and thereafter the implementation of activities would start, including mobilisation of funding for solid waste management.

Rana said the teams would visit industrial hub Baddi on Thursday and later Dharamsala town. (IANS)