New Delhi: There was no relief for Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his sons Akhilesh and Prateek in the disproportionate assets case. The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation can continue to probe allegations against Mulayam, Akhilesh and Prateek independently.
The court has ruled that the CBI does not have to report to the Centre in the case. Meanwhile, the case against Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav has been dropped.
"We are modifying our order of March 1, 2007 to remove the error in it directing CBI to place the report before the government," the bench said, making it clear that the agency will have to place the probe report before the apex court. The bench said, "Since CBI is an independent body", there is no obligation for it to file the status report before the government.
The bench said it is also not contemplated in the Delhi Police Establishment Act under which CBI functions that the agency has to file its status report to the government. "CBI, which is probing the case, has to decide what steps it has to take," it said.
SP lawyer Ajay Agarwal alleged that the CBI was being misused. "This is gross misuse of CBI by the government to victimise their other political party leaders and opponents," he said.
Mulayam and his family members had said that there was no evidence against them and that they are being harassed by political adversaries. A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice HL Dattu had reserved its order on February 17, 2011.
Deviating from the precedent of hearing review petitions in the judges' chambers, the bench had heard the petition in open court at Yadavs' request. Seeking review of the apex court order, Yadav and his family members had submitted that there was no evidence against them who are being harassed by political adversaries.
They assailed the apex court's earlier order claiming it would "set a dangerous precedent" of allowing political opponents to file "false and frivolous" petitions against their detractors.
During the arguments, the Centre, while refraining from going into the merits of the allegations against the Yadavs, had cited a number of judicial pronouncements to drive home the point that the apex court has powers to order a CBI inquiry in "exceptional cases."
Why the judgement is important:
- An adverse judgement against Mulayam will create difficulty for Mulayam to cooperate with UPA.
- Mulayam Singh will hold the government responsible then for using the CBI against him.
- With Mulayam's arch rival Mayawati having been given a clean chit in the Taj corridor scam and Income Tax evasion case, Mulayam will be keen to get his track clean as well
(With additional information from PTI)