Eighteen months after quashing a disproportionate assets case against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on a technical ground, the Supreme Court on Friday asked why the Central Bureau of Investigation did not file a fresh first information report in the case.
Holding that the CBI should have got proper advice on registration of a fresh case against her after the apex court quashed the FIR, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam issued notice and sought response from the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and the agency within four weeks.
The bench brushed aside the stiff opposition put forward by senior advocate and BSP member Satish Mishra who opposed the plea, saying it is politically motivated.
"We expected that the CBI should have got proper advice and acted on that basis," the bench said, indirectly referring to its 2012 verdict by which it had quashed the DA case against Mayawati on a technical ground and leaving the option open to the agency to lodge a fresh case against her.
"It is not for the court to pass order on every aspect," the bench said.
"Is it always the duty of the court to direct CBI," the court asked. The CBI, which has reportedly decided to close the case against Myawati, will have to explain to the apex court for not registering a fresh FIR.
By its July 2012 verdict, the court had quashed a nine-year-long DA case against Mayawati on the ground that the agency proceeded against her without properly understanding its 2003 orders which were confined to the Taj Corridor case relating to release of Rs 17 crore by UP government allegedly without sanction.
Thereafter, in May 2013, while reserving its decision on a plea seeking review of its July 2012 judgement, the apex court had clarified that its earlier verdict has not taken away CBI's power to proceed against her in a separate DA case.
The apex Court was hearing a PIL filed by UP resident Kamlesh Verma seeking its direction to CBI to register a fresh case against Mayawati.
Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that sufficient evidence has already been collected by CBI during its probe and a charge sheet had been drawn against Mayawati.
It would be a travesty of justice that despite there being well founded accusation, she is permitted to go scot free, he contended. "The situation is that despite there being credible
evidence having been collected against her indicating her disproportionate assets, she is moving scot free because after collection of evidence and preparation of charge sheet, this court has found that the investigation was without the authority of law," the petition said.
"The inaction of the CBI in registering a fresh FIR against her after taking due sanction under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act despite there being credible evidence having been collected against her of having disproportionate assets is clearly arbitrary and hence, violative of the Constitution," it said.