Evidence recording against Himachal Congress leader Monday

Shimla, Dec 2 (IANS) A court in Himachal Pradesh is likely to begin Monday the recording of evidence against All India Congress Committee secretary Asha Kumari in a 1998 land garb case.

The former state education minister from 2003-05, Asha Kumari is accused of grabbing government forest land worth crores of rupees by tampering with revenue records.

Chamba's Special Judge Chirag Bhanu Singh Aug 14 framed charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Asha Kumari, who re-contested the assembly polls from Dalhousie in Chamba district, and listed the case for recording of evidences Dec 3-7.

Special Public Prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma told IANS that besides Asha Kumari, there were 12 other accused, including her late husband Brijender Singh.

On Jan 4, 2005, a Himachal Pradesh court charged Asha Kumari and others with grabbing more than 60 bighas of forest land near Dalhousie by tampering government records and fabricating wills in connivance with revenue officials.

In December last year, the Supreme Court ruled that cheating and criminal conspiracy charges against Asha Kumari could not be quashed.

Challenging the trial court order, Asha Kumari had moved the Himachal Pradesh High Court which granted her relief by setting aside the Chamba court's order on the grounds that she was denied an opportunity of being properly heard.