New Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday quashed a nine-year-old disproportionate-assets case against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation for initiating the probe against her without specific directions from the court.
The apex court said the method adopted by the CBI was “unwarranted” and the agency proceeded against her without properly understanding its orders passed in the Taj Corridor scam.
A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam clarified that the Supreme Court order pertained to initiating a probe against state government officials in the scam and there was no direction to lodge another FIR exclusively against Mayawati for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.
The apex court said there is no finding in the CBI's status report of September 2008 that Mayawati had allegedly amassed assets disproportionate to her known sources of income during the period 1995-2003. Mayawati was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on and off during that period.
While reading out the operative part of its judgment, the bench observed there was “no such direction to lodge another FIR under Prevention of Corruption Act exclusively against Mayawati”.
“The CBI proceeded without properly understanding our orders”, the bench said.
The court passed the judgment on Mayawati's plea seeking quashing of proceedings against her in the DA case lodged by the CBI.
She had alleged that the agency was being used as a political tool by "fixing" the case against her. Mayawati had approached the apex court in May 2008 seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against her in the DA case lodged by the CBI nine years ago. She had alleged it was an act of political vendetta.
The court had reserved its judgment on May 1 this year after hearing both the sides.
Mayawati had said the bench should direct the CBI to consider the aspect of order passed by the Income Tax Tribunal holding that her income was genuine. The Delhi high court had upheld this order, she had said.
The CBI had alleged there was “ample evidence” to show that she had amassed wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income.
Mayawati had claimed she had received the money as donations from party workers.
Questioning Mayawati's assets, the CBI had alleged her declared assets of Rs 1 crore in 2003 had gone up to Rs 50 crore in 2007.
The CBI, in its last affidavit filed on September 13, 2011, had alleged there was a “criminal nexus” between Mayawati and her relatives and the disproportionate assets case against her could not be closed on the basis of conclusions arrived at by the Income Tax Department.
Soon after the court's order, a close aide of Mayawati and senior advocate S C Mishra said that the verdict was a fitting reply to those who had raised questions on the integrity of the BSP supremo over the years.
“The judgment of the apex court is a reply to all the defamatory remarks and comments alleging corruption and amassing of disproportionate assets by Mayawati, made by people at public meetings and through the media over the years,” he said told reporters outside the court.
“We got justice after nine years,” he said.
Mishra alleged that the case against Mayawati was filed by the CBI in a mala fide manner and under “political pressure” and that was why the agency did not withdraw the proceedings against her even though she was given a clean chit by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the Delhi High Court.