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HP CMA prima facie case of money laundering appears to be made out against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the Centre today told the Delhi High Court.

The bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini also took note of allegations of receipt of unaccounted money to the tune of nearly Rs 5 crores by the chief minister and filing of revised Income Tax returns for years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 by him.

The revised IT returns showed an increase in agricultural income to the tune of Rs 6.10 crore, a PIL, filed by NGO ‘Common Cause’, claimed.

“Meanwhile, the Income Tax department shall file before the court the tax assessment records and other documents of Respondent no.5 (Singh),” the bench, also comprising Justice Jayant Nath, said.

During the brief hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, said, “There was enough prima facie material available on record to say that a case of money laundering is made out against respondent no. 5 (Singh).”

The ASG was responding to the submissions made by Prashant Bhushan, who is representing the NGO, that an undue delay has been caused by the agency in registering an FIR despite the fact that there is sufficient material to prosecute Singh.

Only the CBI can say about the exact status of the investigation, the ASG said.

Reacting to the Centre’s submission, Singh said he has “nothing to fear as I have done no wrong”.

He said in Shimla that the matter is subjudice but he expects all the investigating agencies to be “just and fair”.

Without naming any individual, the Himachal CM said he was being framed in these cases “but I will fight it out”.

During the high court proceedings, Bhushan cited a Supreme Court judgement and said the CBI, which had lodged the preliminary enquiry long back, should have completed it within a week. It should have lodged an FIR, he said.

The bench is hearing the PIL alleging that Singh, during his tenure as the Chief Minister and Union Minister, had indulged in corruption, money laundering and forgery.

He also amassed assets disproportionate to the known sources of income, the PIL alleged.

(Source: PTI)

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