The CBI on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging a high court order restraining it from arresting and interrogating Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh in a corruption case. An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said they would hear the plea by the investigating agency on the opening day after the Dusshera holidays. The bench, also including justice Arun Mishra, however refused to list the matter for hearing on Friday, saying that it was not so urgent.
Additional solicitor general PS Patwalia, appearing for the probe agency, said the high court order has virtually stalled the investigation process by granting relief such as protection from arrest and no interrogation of accused without its prior permission. He said the high court not only restrained CBI from arresting the chief minister but also embargoed it from filing charge sheet without its prior leave. The Himachal Pradesh HC had on October 1 restrained CBI from arresting Singh and his wife in the DA case but had allowed the inquiry in the matter to proceed. The probe agency has filed a transfer petition and a special leave petition in the apex court seeking transferring the case against Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi and setting aside of the order passed by the state high court, respectively. Admitting the petition of Singh, the high court had also directed the CBI to keep the court informed before interrogating the couple. The chief minister had filed a petition in the high court pleading that the raids on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “malafide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency.