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Assets case: CBI has evidence to prosecute Maya

July 10, 2008 20:25 IST
Last Updated: July 10, 2008 20:54 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday told the Supreme Court that there was 'sufficient' evidence to prosecute Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a disproportionate assets case, registered against her five years ago.

The investigating agency filed an affidavit in the apex court saying it will shortly file a chargesheet in the disproportionate assets case registered against the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo in 2003.

It said there was ample evidence to show that she amassed wealth disproportionate to her known source of income.

CBI was responding to the notice issued to it on the petition filed by Mayawati seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against her in the case alleging that it was foisted on her due to political reasons.

The affidavit said that investigations into the case has been concluded and there are sufficient evidence to chargesheet her.

The agency refuted Mayawati's allegation that the UPA government was using it to secure political ends and probe against her was aimed at 'character assassination'.

The CBI said it was solely guided by section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which mandates a probe agency to file a final report (chargesheet) before concerned magistrate after completing the investigations into a criminal case.

The CBI had registered the FIR against Mayawati on October 5, 2003 after the apex court had ordered the agency to investigate the Rs 175 crore Taj Heritage Corridor scam.

However, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief has contended that the FIR lodged against her was illegal as no sanction was taken from the state and the agency had misinterpreted the apex court order, which only directed investigation into the Taj Corridor case.

When the matter had come for hearing earlier, the Centre had said the two reports placed before the apex court by the CBI on September 18, 2003 contained the issue relating to the assets.

It had said that Mayawati was participating in the inquiry since 2005, which could have been concluded by 2006 but has been delayed as the chief minister was making several representations -- even to the Prime Minister -- as she was scared of the investigation's outcome.

"They (Mayawati and others) are scared what is coming out in public domain," the Centre had said on May 15 hearing.

However, Mayawati's counsel had contended that the Centre was pressing for her prosecution as 'it was scared in view of the 2009 general elections'.

The BSP supremo has contended in the petition that 'lodging the FIR and investigating into her assets is beyond the purview of Taj Heritage Corridor case and is a direct onslaught on her fundamental rights.'

Keeping the sword of investigation hanging has seriously impaired her political journey, she had said.

"The premier investigation agency has unfortunately been used as a tool by the Central government by lodging the illegal FIR so as to harass her and proceeding of which are creating obstruction in smooth running of the government in the state," she said in the petition.

"The present case is a textbook example of the over-reach by an agency under control of the Union government, giving rise to reasonable apprehension of an attempt to create a level to try to secure political ends by an abuse of legal system.

"The present ongoing investigation against the petitioner (Mayawati) is nothing but her character assassination and therefore, smacks of malafides on the part of CBI," the petition said.

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