Lucknow: Amid the run-up to the declaration of Lok Sabha election results, the Central Bureau of Investigation, in its detailed written response, has informed the Supreme Court that the allegations of disproportionate assets against Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav could not be substantiated for lack of credible evidence.
The CBI response was submitted on May 9, which says that the preliminary enquiry conducted against the Yadav leaders was closed on August 7, 2013, itself.
It was on April 12 that the CBI had informed the Supreme Court through an oral submission about the closure of the PE against the Yadav leaders, and the court had given the agency four weeks’ time to file a detailed affidavit, which the CBI filed on May 9.
The CBI response comes at a time when not only all major opposition parties are attempting to jointly challenge the credibility of EVMs, but efforts are also on to cobble up a joint front, to explore whether they could be in a position to form a government if the results do not favour the BJP and its allies.
The CBI has told the Supreme Court that the ”clean chit” to the Yadav leaders had been given way back in August 2013. It said in its 23-page affidavit: “No prima facie evidence of commission of cognizable offence against the suspects was found during the enquiry and hence the PE in the case was not converted into a criminal case/FIR under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). No enquiry was conducted in the matter after August 7, 2013.”
The Congress and other parties have been quick to point out that this change of heart by the CBI could be an attempt by the BJP and the Central government to soften up the Samajwadi Party, in case the latter’s support is required to stitch together numbers for a simple majority.
The disproportionate assets case against Mulayam and his son dates back to 2005. Vishwanath Chaturvedi, a Congress leader, had in 2005 filed a PIL in Supreme Court, seeking a direction to the CBI to take appropriate action to prosecute Yadavs for allegedly acquiring assets more than the known source of their income by misusing their power of authority.
The apex court had, in its verdict on March 1, 2007, had directed the CBI “to enquire into allegations” and find out as to as to whether the plea with regard to disproportionate assets of SP leaders was “correct or not.”