Central Bureau of Investigation director Ashwini Kumar defended the U-turn of the agency in Mulayam Singh Yadav's
case saying the investigating agency was bound by the rules to consult the government before going to any court.
"That is as per rules and procedures. Whenever we go to Supreme Court and High Court, we go through the government of India and through the Ministry of Law," Kumar told media-persons reacting to the apex court's observations.
The reaction from the CBI Director came a day after the Supreme Court rapped the CBI for "acting at the behest" of the Centre in the disproportionate assets case against Yadav and his family members.
"We cannot file any affidavit without going through the Ministry...," he said.
Ironically, during the tenure of Vijay Shankar, Kumar's predecessor, the CBI, in its affidavit had said, it was willing to place the status report directly before the apex court, instead of submitting the same to the government.
The CBI had also said in its affidavit that it had quoted rules and submitted as per the practice, after a preliminary enquiry undertaken by it, which discloses commission of offence by the persons concerned, and a regular case is registered and investigation in accordance with law is undertaken.
However, the CBI on Wednesday maintained that according to the government manual, all matters relating to the High Court and the Supreme Court have to go through the Ministry of Law and the centre.
To a question why the CBI had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it need not go to the government, the CBI
Director said, "These are legal points, let the advocates argue in the court. Whatever the directions of the Supreme
Court, we will follow."
The Supreme Court on Tuesday criticised the agency for its handling of the disproportionate assets case against the Samajwadi Party leader and his family members saying, "You (CBI) are acting at the behest of Central Government and the Law Ministry. You are not acting on your own".
The sharp observations came when Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said the opinion of the Law Ministry
was sought to withdraw an application under which the CBI had sought filing of an inquiry report before the apex court and not to the centre.