Charting a collision course with the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the CBI probe order against Noida Authority’s former chief engineer Yadav Singh. The Uttar Pradesh government accused the Centre of using the CBI for political purposes.
It questioned the “extreme interest” taken by the Centre in this case when no such alacrity was shown in handing over probe to the CBI in Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam and similar scams.
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The Uttar Pradesh government filed a petition against the July 16 order of the Allahabad High Court, which had handed over the probe to the CBI after relying on two letters written by the finance ministry to the UP government. In February, the ministry had written to the state, preferring a CBI probe against Singh since the Special Investigation Team in the black money case had recommended so.
The HC order had come on a PIL, which sought an investigation against Singh for alleged large-scale corruption during the BSP and SP regimes, between 2007 and 2014 that led to a brisk rise in his assets.
Challenging this order, the petition, filed through advocate Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, has asked whether the ministry’s letters are not in violation of the doctrine of federal structure, “in which the Central government can use the CBI for its own political motive”.
It added: “Many a times, the CBI has been used to politicise a general criminal case to further political vendetta when there are different political dispensations in powers at the level of state and the Centre. It is relevant to point out that such exercise of power, as in the present case, would be clearly contrary to the essence of the federal structure.”
The UP government alleged that the letters were “obviously written to help the PIL litigant” so that the HC could be persuaded to handover the investigation to CBI. It said the letters are “in complete disregard to the federal structure” and further “indicate the extreme interest” being taken by Centre in this particular case.
“The Union of India has not taken any proactive measures to call for handing over of those investigations to the CBI, including Vyapam and such other issues. It seems the extraordinary request in the instant case, is for reasons not far to seek. The High Court seems to have been persuaded by the interest of the Central government in this regard,” stated the petition.
It contended that the SIT exceeded its jurisdiction by asking the Central government to direct the UP government for handing over the matter to CBI for investigation since it was against the spirit of the terms of reference of the constitution of the SIT by the top court.