Graft case: Virbhadra gets audio tape's copy

Last Updated: Tue, May 22, 2012 10:50 hrs

Shimla, May 22 (IANS) Union minister and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh was Tuesday provided in a court here an audio cassette purportedly containing his voice while referring to some monetary transactions.

Accepting defence counsel's argument, Special Judge B.l. Soni asked the prosecution to hand over the copy of the cassette to the accused, Special Public Prosecutor Jiwan lal Sharma told IANS.

Sharma said the original cassette's copy prepared by the Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Science laboratory was handed over to defence counsel on their plea that they were not in a position to argue the case without knowing the cassette's content.

Arguments for consideration of charges are expected to be taken up by the court May 31.

Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh were booked by police Aug 3, 2009 under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The former chief minister faces charges of misusing his official position and criminal misconduct in 1989.

Virbhadra Singh's wife was also booked on the basis of the audio cassette released by his political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007.

In the cassette, the former chief minister was allegedly heard referring to some monetary transactions while talking on the phone to Indian Administrative Service officer Mahinder lal, who is now dead.

The cassette also contained voices of Virbhadra Singh's wife and some industrialists.

The prosecution filed the charge sheet against Virbhadra Singh and his wife in the court in October 2010.

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