A city court has reserved judgment for Saturday 2 pm on a criminal complaint against withdrawal of a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into alleged "benami" properties held by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh in the name of his two sons and daughter-in-law, Dimple, wife of MP son Akhilesh.
Parties made accused in the case are Karnataka Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for their role in closing the probe in 2008 against the concerned ministers at the Centre. However, the main accusation is made against Attorney General Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, whose advice as then solicitor general and clean chit to Mulayam led to withdrawal of the case.
Vishwanath Chaturvedi, a Delhi social worker, had moved the special CBI court of judge Talwant Singh, alleging that the inquiry ordered by the Supreme Court was shut as a "gift" to Mulayam for extending support of his Samajwadi Party to the United Progressive Alliance government in the Lok Sabha in a crucial trust vote in July 2008 after the Left had withdrawn the support.
He has sought revival of the CBI probe and also action against the city's Tilak Nagar police station for not registering his FIR last October when he learnt that an application was procured from Dimple to drop investigation against her simply because she was not a 'public servant' for the purpose of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Chaturvedi has dubbed totally illegal advice rendered by Vahanvati on November 7, 2008, that "an investigating agency that probes the wealth of a public servant should never probe the wealth of the kith and kin of such public servant unless the agency is also instructed to the possibility that the concerned public servant might have held 'benami' property in the name of his kith and kin".
Vahanvati's advice to the CBI to withdraw its application from the Supreme Court "merely because the CBI should not have investigated whether the kith and kin of Mulayam Singh Yadav had held property 'benami' for him is the grossest form of illegal and corrupt use of the office of the solicitor general of India," Chaturvedi has alleged in his case before the CBI judge.
He refers to the Supreme Court order in March 2007 on his 2005 writ, directing the CBI "to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the assets of all the respondents and after scrutinising if a case is made out then to take further action in the matter."
The CBI had moved an interlocutory application before the Supreme Court on August 28, 2007, seeking to prosecute Mulayam and family members against whom it had discovered prima facie commission of offences punishable by law - pursuant to their preliminary inquiry. It was, however, made to move another application on December 6, 2008, based on Vahanvati's legal advice, to withdraw that application, which was dismissed by the Apex Court as withdrawn.