New Delhi: Yet again a CD at the centre of a political controversy and this time it's former Himachal Pradesh chief minister & current Union Minister Virbhadra Singh in the hot seat. A Shimla court has ordered that he be charged for corruption in a case dating back to 1989. The CD reportedly contains conversations between Singh, his wife Pratibha, an IAS officer and industrialists over exchange of money for alleged benefits.
Singh maintains the CD has been doctored but sources say he has already told Congress President Sonia Gandhi that he is ready to quit to avoid embarrassment to the party.
Meanwhile, a forensic examination at CFSL Chandigarh has revealed that the voices in the CD match with those of Virbhadra Singh and his wife.
While the prosecution is confident there is strong evidence against him, Singh's defence says they will appeal the order.
Public Prosecutor Jivan Lal Pandit said, "In the court of BL Soni, who is a special judge... he ordered that there is a prima facie case against Shri Virbhadra Singh. Charges have been filed. The matter would be decided in High Court If the petition is dismissed then trial court will decide... Minimum punishment is of one year. It can go to seven years."
Shravan Dogra, counsel for Virbhadra Singh, said, "There was already direction from High Court that you cannot take further actions. It's a fight for justice. We believe in the judicial system. Process may be long but I am sure we would get justice. We have two more paths available. This was a groundless case."
The case is clearly fodder for the opposition. BJP's Vijay Mankotia even released the CD embarrassing Virbhadra Singh just after a huge birthday bash on Sunday.