The refusal of the apex court to concede an appeal by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his clan for reprieve in the disproportionate assets case has left the entire family high and dry.
Insiders claim that Mulayam was very hopeful that the court would let him off the Central Bureau of Investigation hook in the same manner as his sworn political foe Mayawati.
However, the Supreme Court dismissed all their plea and the only respite it gave was to Mulayam's daughter-in-law and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav, against whom CBI proceedings would now be dropped.
What has become the cause of worry for Mulayam now was that the apex court has decided to also monitor the probe by CBI that has been asked to file status report directly before the apex court and not before the government, as it was being done so far.
Sure enough that leaves no ground for political manipulation or bargaining as Mulayam had succeeded in doing with the Congress-led UPA regime.
Interestingly, UPA too had left no stone unturned in black-mailing Mulayam to insure support of the Samajwadi Party whenever it was required to save the Centre.
A look at the sequence of events since a PIL was moved against the alleged amassing of wealth far disproportionate to Mulayam's known sources of income, throws light on how political machinations were carried out from both sides.
December 2005: PIL filed in the Supreme Court alleging Mulayam and his family had amassed disproportionate assets.
March 1, 2007: The Supreme Court directs CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into charges of disproportionate assets (DA) amassed by Mulayam, his two sons Akhilesh and Prateek as well as dauighter-in-law Dimple.
March 5, 2007: CBI registered a preliminary enquiry against Mulayam and his family. The objective of this exercise was to ascertain if prima facie there was a case on the basis of available evidence.
March 15, 2007: Mulayam and family challenged SC decision of ordering a preliminary enquiry.
October 26, 2007: CBI told SC that it has concluded its enquiry and wanted to initiate criminal investigation against the Yadavs.
March 10, 2008: CBI reiterates its request for proceeding with a criminal investigation against the Yadavs.
July 22, 2008: UPA wins trust vote with support of the Samajwadi Party.
November 21, 2008: Solicitor General of India Ghoolam Vahanvati advised the UPA government that the ongoing CBI probe against Mulayam should be closed.
December 6, 2008: CBI moved SC with an application stating that in view of the legal advice and directions of the Solicitor General of India, the agency be allowed to withdraw its earlier request for initiating criminal investigation against the Yadavs.
In the meantime, the bonhomie between SP and Congress ends over seat sharing for 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
March 30, 2009: CBI once again takes a 'U' turn and tells SC that it wishes to proceed with the criminal investigation against the Yadavs on the plea that the Yadavs were not cooperating with the valuation of their assets.
February 10, 2009: SC reserved its orders on the various applications of the CBI to proceed with criminal investigation against the Yadavs.
February 17, 2011: SC reserves its order on the Yadavs' petitions challenging the CBI enquiry.
December 13, 2012: Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Altamash Kabir and Justice H L Dattu directs CBI to go ahead with the probe against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, his elder son UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and younger son Prateek Yadav in the disproportionate assets case. Cases against Dimple to be dropped.
Image: Mulayam Singh Yadav with son Akhilesh in Lucknow