FOR the last nine years, the CBI has not been able to officially conclude whether a corruption case against Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam has to be investigated further or closed for want of evidence. In September 2013, the CBI said it was closing the case for want of evidence but hasn’t yet filed the necessary closure report in the Supreme Court.
Vishwanath Chaturvedi, an advocate on whose PIL the court had ordered a CBI inquiry, told The Indian Express Friday he would soon file a fresh writ petition urging the court to seek a report from the CBI. “It was in 2007 when a preliminary enquiry was registered by the CBI. It has been more than nine years,” Chaturvedi said. In 2012, a court judgment had asked the CBI “to take such independent action, as it considers fit, on the basis of the inquiry conducted by it pursuant to the directions given by this court”.
The charge: The charge was that the family had illegally accumulated assets worth over Rs 100 crore between 1999 and 2005, part of it during Mulayam’s 2003-07 tenure. Chaturvedi’s petition sought an investigation against Mulayam, his sons Akhilesh and Prateek, and daughter-in-law Dimple. In 2007, the court asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry.
‘Letter’ to judge: On the morning of March 16, 2007, Justice A R Lakshmanan broke down in court, saying he could not hear the matter as he had just received a “heinous letter”. Although he did not reveal the contents of the letter, it was later reported that it alleged he had been influenced to favour the Yadavs. Another bench was constituted to hear the case. Meanwhile, the Yadavs sought a review of the court order.
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CBI’s evidence: In May 2007, by when the SP was no longer in power, the CBI told the court it had prima facie evidence and favoured “registration of a regular case under Prevention of Corruption Act”. It said “prima facie possession of assets disproportionate to known source of income” was Rs 2.63 crore. In October 2007 and March 2008, the CBI sought permission to proceed.
Prop to UPA: In July 2008, the Left withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh government over the Indo-US nuclear deal but Mulayam bailed it out with his 39 MPs. Three times that year, Dimple Yadav wrote to the PM, denying the charges against her.
CBI’s U-turns: In December 2008, the CBI sought withdrawal of its application to register an RC. In March 2009, it approached the court saying it stood by its first application that sought to proceed. Around this time, the Congress and SP had failed to reach an agreement for the Lok Sabha elections. As a legal question regarding the CBI probe without the consent of the state government was being heard by a Constitution Bench, the Yadavs sought a stay on the proceedings. The constitution bench delivered its verdict in February 2010, and the final arguments in the batch of review petitions revived.
The 2012 judgment: The court refused to stop the inquiry against Mulayam and his sons. The case against Dimple was, however, dropped: she wasn’t holding any public office when the case was filed. The court modified its order of March 1, 2007, and asked the CBI to file its status report before the court and not to the government.