A bench of justices FMI Kalifulla and U U Lalit said it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case but 'simply' transferring the petition to the Delhi High Court 'in the interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment'.

The Apex Court also ordered deletion of allegations and counter allegations made by either parties against the high court judge and the counsel representing CBI in the case.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Chief Minister, opposed the transfer saying it would send a wrong message that the state HC is not fit enough to hear this case.

Rejecting the submissions, the bench said it would not deal with any aspect of the matter and simply refer it to Delhi HC by invoking its extraordinary constitutional authority in the interests of justice.

Earlier, the Apex Court had sought responses from Singh and others on two petitions filed by CBI against the High Court order granting protection from arrest and other relief to him and his wife in the case.

The bench, however, had not granted interim stay on the October 1 order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court which had restrained CBI from arresting Singh and his wife in the DA case but had allowed the enquiry in the matter to proceed.

The High Court had also directed CBI to keep the court informed before interrogating the couple. The CBI had filed a transfer petition and a special leave petition in the Apex Court seeking transfer of the case against Singh from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi and setting aside
the order passed by the state High Court, respectively.

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