New Delhi: Causing them a major setback today, the Supreme Court today ruled
that the CBI probe would continue into the alleged amassing
disproportionate assets of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,
his sons Akhilesh and Pratik Yadav.
However, the court said there will be no probe against UP CM’s wife Dimple Yadav as she did not hold an office of profit at the time the inquiry began in 2007.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice H L Dattu also modified its March 1, 2007 order and ordered CBI to file the status report before the apex court and not to the government.
"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.
While holding that the CBI probe against Mulayam, Akhilesh and his other son Prateek Yadav will continue, the bench said the "proceeding in the review petition cannot be converted into appeals."
Mulayam Singh then met UPA President Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha. The SP chief is said to have welcomed the decision despite causing him a jolt.
The apex court had ordered a CBI inquiry on March 1, 2007 into the alleged accumulation of disproportionate assets by Yadav family, on a public interest litigation (PIL) by an advocate, Vishwanath Chaturvedi, reportedly a Congress leader.
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 and they 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.”