After dilly-dallying with the case of disproportionate assets against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members including his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has decided to file a closure report in the case. Like in the past when the case picked up or was put in cold storage as per the political requirements of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government this move too could be aimed at garnering the support of the Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In a letter written to the present Director of the CBI Ranjit Sinha, India Rejuvenation Initiative (IRI), a forum of civil society activists with members like Former Chief Justice of India Justice RC Lahoti, Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India VK Shunglu and Former Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, has pointed out that the agency’s interest in a particular case is directly proportional to the ruling party’s interest in the matter. “If the government wants a case to remain in cold storage, the CBI ensures that. Conversely, if the government wants a case to be given acceleration, the CBI obliges accordingly,” the IRI letter says.
Since registering the case against Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple Yadav and Mulayam’s other son Prateek Yadav on March 5th 2007 in compliance with a Supreme Court order dated March 1st 2007 the CBI probe has been kept in limbo, reviving and burying it to suit the UPA’s changing political needs. Each time the UPA wanted the Samajwadi Party’s submission or the support of its MPs to save the government, as in 2008 during the trust vote over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the CBI geared up pace of probe and once the UPA’s political ends were served the CBI gave just enough relief to Mulayam and his family. But while earlier the agency used to leave enough ambivalence in the matter so that the case could be revived in the future if, and when, required, this time the favour is bigger. The CBI is now planning to file a report in the Supreme Court informing that it has not found any evidence in the probe against the Yadavs. It will go ahead with the move after the Monsoon Session of the Parliament concludes on September 6.
The initial enquiry into the case had revealed that Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family had amassed disproportionate assets worth Rs 2.63 crore between April 1st 1993 and March 31st 2005. But the IRI alleges that during the computation of assets by the CBI some of the aspects were not considered. IRI letter says that receipt of gifts worth Rs 1.07 crore had actually been based on false or forged documents and that the actual cost of the family’s properties at Lucknow, Saifai and Etawah was more than Rs 1 crore. The assets worth Rs 2.8 crore acquired in the name of Mulayam Singh’s wife Sadhna Yadav and son Prateek Yadav which had been acquired during the same period had not been considered at all. These items together make up Rs 4.8 crore in assets that have not been included.
Also, as per the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that was originally filed in the SC by Vishwanath Chaturvedi, an activist from Lucknow who was earlier associated with the Congress but has now fallen out with the party, Mulayam Singh’s family owned property worth Rs 100 crore as of January 2007 in various districts of UP.
After Mulayam Singh and family filed review petitions before the Supreme Court against its order of March 1st 2007 the court on December 13th 2012 directed that the CBI ‘may take such independent action, as it considers fit, on the basis of the inquiry conducted by it…’ but more than eight months since then the CBI has taken no such action; instead it now plans to close the case.
Read the full text of the letter written by IRI to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha here: link to be pasted