14 years later, relief for Mulayam, Akhilesh: CBI tells SC assets probe shut
THE CBI has told the Supreme Court that it has closed a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) initiated against Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and his sons, Akhilesh Yadav and Prateek Yadav, over allegations of disproportionate assets since the charges could not be substantiated.
“…in furtherance of the directions of the Honourable Court… further enquiry was conducted in the said PE and it was found that the allegations against Respondent Nos. 2,3 and 5 for allegedly having acquired disproportionate assets to their known sources of income could not be substantiated. Accordingly, the PE was closed by submitting a report to the CVC (Chief Vigilance Commissioner) on 08.10.2013,” the agency said in an affidavit.
The affidavit was filed in response to the court’s direction to the agency to update it about the status of the enquiry initiated in 2007. The direction came on a plea by political activist and advocate Viswanath Chaturvedi. In 2005, Chaturvedi had approached the Supreme Court with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a CBI probe into allegations of disproportionate assets against the trio and Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav.
Explained: The disproportionate assets case against Mulayam, Akhilesh and Dimple
On March 1, 2007, the apex court directed the CBI “to enquire into the allegations” and find out whether the plea was “correct or not”. After conducting an initial probe, the agency filed an application in the court to “permit” it “to proceed further in the matter…”. In December 2012, the court dismissed a review plea against the 2007 decision but allowed Dimple’s plea to drop the probe against her as she was not holding any public office.
Subsequently, the agency conducted “further enquiry” and concluded that the allegations “could not be substantiated”. It also said that “since no prima facie evidence of commission of cognizable evidence against the suspects was found during enquiry, hence the PE in the present case was not converted into a Criminal Case/FIR…”.
In his fresh plea, Chaturvedi said that “…an unusually long period has already escaped without any action being taken on the matter for 11 long years”. He said the CBI had not intimated the status of the case or information about the filing of any final report either before the jurisdictional magistrate or the apex court so far.
Chaturvedi also contended that no FIR had been filed and this “has not only caused some irremediable and irrecoverable damage to the whole case, but also raised serious questions of credibility and integrity of our investigating agencies”. In its affidavit, the CBI said that a PE was not a criminal investigation and therefore there was no legal requirement to place it before the jurisdictional court.