Having decided to close its probe into Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s disproportionate assets, the CBI may face its real test in the Supreme Court soon. While the apex court had in December 2012 ordered it to remove assets in the name of Mulayam’s daughter-in-law Dimple from the probe, in closing the investigation, the CBI has gone one step further and contradicted its own findings of 2007 to cite “insufficient evidence” against the SP supremo.
That the agency could do so may be a matter of dispute in itself. It investigated the case as a PE or preliminary enquiry so far without managing to file a formal case in more than five years. In a PE, the CBI can decide on its own to close a case.
One view is that the CBI didn’t try hard enough to push its case in the Supreme Court. It could have given a strong reasoning for including Dimple’s assets — without which the Mulayam family assets don’t show a major rise — as well as asked for an extension in the period of probe to pursue the matter. After all, a petition is pending before the Supreme Court to include Dimple’s assets in the case.
Instead, while in 2007, it had cited that Mulayam’s assets had risen from Rs 18.25 lakh in 1993 to Rs 4.59 crore in 2005, it has now claimed “detailed explanation” of the income, expenditure and assets of the SP chief and his two sons to close the case.
A clear contrast can be drawn with the case of YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was in jail for 16 months before being released on bail on September 24. The CBI took into account all the assets and income of Jagan’s family and even named Jagati Publications (owned by Jagan, which runs Sakshi TV and Sakshi newspaper) among others in a chargesheet recently.
Even if the change in the CBI’s position stands legal scrutiny, its move will again go a long way towards strengthening the image of the agency as a ‘political tool’ in the hands of the ruling party.
Particularly when it