SC Dismisses Plea Seeking Copy Of CBI Report On Closure Of Preliminary Enquiry Against Mulayam Singh Yadav & His Son
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a copy of the CBI report on closure of its preliminary enquiry into allegations of amassing disproportionate assets against former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav.
The CBI had told the apex court in 2019 that since "no prima facie evidence" of commission of a cognisable offence was found against Mulayam and his two sons- Akhilesh and Prateek- the Preliminary Enquiry (PE) was not converted into a criminal case/FIR, and as such, no enquiry was conducted in the matter after August 7, 2013.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala said, "Since the judgements dated March 1, 2007 and December 13, 2012, the CBI has closed its preliminary enquiry on August 7, 2013 and submitted its report on October 8, 2013 to the CVC. This application has been filed in 2019 after six years. There is no merit in the application and hence it is dismissed."
The apex court pointed out that former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had passed away and asked petitioner Vishwanath Chaturvedi as to what remains in the case.
Counsel for the petitioner said the proceedings against Mulayam have been dropped but allegations are also against his sons-Akhilesh and Prateek.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Akhilesh and Prateek, said the CBI filed the closure report after conducting the preliminary enquiry and said no case is made out for registration of a regular case. Counsel for Chaturvedi contended he had filed an RTI application before the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and he was informed that no such closure report was filed by the CBI.
Justice Narasimha said the closure report was filed in 2013 and the petitioner filed his plea in 2019. Tell us how we can entertain this application after so many years", Justice Narasimha asked.
The counsel said when a cognisable offence is prima facie made out, then a copy of the closure report has to be provided to the complainant. The bench responded, saying it is not inclined to entertain the application for a copy of the closure report and dismissed it.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, 82, the founder of the Samajwadi Party, died on October 10, last year at a hospital in Gurugram after prolonged illness.
On December 5 last year, the apex court had said it will hear the submissions on whether the petitioner can be given a copy of the CBI report on closure of its preliminary enquiry into allegations against Mulayam and his sons of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Earlier, the CBI had told the court in an affidavit that after conducting further enquiry in a "fair, impartial and professional manner", it had independently taken a decision to close the probe against them in accordance with the court's 2012 directions.
In its 21-page affidavit, the CBI had said, "Thereafter in compliance of the directions of the court in the judgement dated December 13, 2012, further enquiry was conducted in the said PE and it was found that the allegations against Respondent(s)..., for allegedly having acquired disproportionate assets to their known source of income could not be substantiated".
The affidavit said since no prima facie evidence of commission of cognisable offence against the suspects was found during enquiry, the PE in the present case was not converted into a criminal case/FIR, and as such, no enquiry was conducted in the matter after August 7, 2013.
It noted the apex court had in its 2012 verdict passed various directions in the matter and allowed the CBI to take such independent action, as it considers fit, on the basis of the enquiry conducted by it, without seeking any direction from any corner.
"Accordingly, the CBI after conducting further enquiry in a fair, impartial and professional manner in the matter, had independently taken a decision to close the enquiry against Respondent number 2, 3 and 5 (Mulayam, Akhilesh and Prateek) on August 7, 2013, in view of the directions of the court in the said judgement," the affidavit said.
The CBI had said that pursuant to the apex court verdict in 2007 on a plea by petitioner Vishwanath Chaturvedi, it had registered the PE on March 5, 2007 to look into the allegations of acquiring assets disproportionate to their known source of income against the trio, Dimple Yadav (Akhilesh's wife), and other unknown persons.
"On careful examination of documents, statements of witnesses and the versions of the suspects during the course of further enquiry, sufficient evidence to support the allegations of possessions of disproportionate assets, jointly or individually, against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members could not be brought out. Therefore, in view of direction passed by court...in its judgement dated December 13, 2012, the competent authority in CBI took a considered decision on August 7, 2013, to close the PE against all the suspects," the affidavit had said.
It said the CVC was informed about the decision taken in the PE on October 8, 2013 along with reasons for the difference in computation of disproportionate assets in the early findings of 2007.
The apex court had directed the CBI to file its reply on a fresh plea by Chaturvedi seeking to know the status of the probe in the disproportionate assets case.
Chaturvedi had in 2005 filed the PIL in the top court seeking a direction to the CBI to take appropriate action to prosecute the Yadavs for allegedly acquiring assets more than the known sources of their income by misusing their power of authority.
The apex court had in its verdict of March 1, 2007 directed the CBI to enquire into the allegations and find out as to whether the plea with regard to disproportionate assets was correct or not.
In 2012, the court had dismissed the review petitions filed by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his sons against its verdict and directed the CBI to go ahead with the probe against them in the DA case. It had, however, allowed the review plea of Dimple Yadav and directed the CBI to drop the inquiry against her, saying she was not holding any public office.
With PTI Inputs