Petitioner in disproportionate assets case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family blames the CBI for its double standards. Sheela Bhatt reports.
"The arrest of Jaganmohan Reddy in the disproportionate assets case, once again, proves that the Central Bureau of Investigation is a weapon for the government to remain in power in New Delhi," says Vishwanath Chaturvedi, the petitioner in the case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and three members of his family including his sons Akhilesh and Yadav and daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav (Akilesh's wife). Mulayam's deceased wife Malti Yadav was also named as an accused when the case was filed in 2005.
Chaturvedi says with dismay that, "Dr Manmohan Singh's government needs the 21 MPs of the Samajwadi Party so they have done everything possible in the rule book to not allow the law to take its course. They have not allowed the CBI to file a regular case and prosecute the Yadav family. I have produced sale deeds of immovable assets worth Rs 100 crore before the court. In Jagan's case, the inquiry started six months back. Look how quickly he has been sent to jail. I am not defending Jagan Reddy but why are these double standards being adopted by the CBI?"
"More than anything else I am worried about the coming election in Kannauj where Dimple Yadav has been fielded by Mulayam Singh Yadav. She is an accused in the disproportionate case like Jagan Reddy is. She is being nominated because of the ongoing case against her in the Supreme court," he said
Chaturvedi said in his case of disproportionate assets, Mulayam, is the main accused, who is Member of Parliament. Another co-accused is Akhilesh Yadav, who is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. But the remaining two accused Prateek and Dimple are ordinary citizens.
Two important judgments in the case have been reserved by the Supreme Court. One judgment is related to inclusion of the assets of Dimple Yadav in the case is also pending.
Chaturvedi says, "I am trying to fight the case sincerely. What can I do if the courts reserve the judgment for more than three years? Nowhere in the world has one heard such a thing. Have you ever heard that even after the case is duly heard, the judgment is not delivered nor any reason stated for the delay. One of the judgments is reserved since early 2009."
Mulayam Singh Yadav has challenged the power of the court to give an order to the CBI in the case related to him. The week after the Left parties withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance government on July 14, 2008, Dimple Yadav and her mother-in-law Malti Yadav had represented their case to Manmohan Singh, who then headed the ministry of personnel and training under which the CBI falls.
Soon after moving that application to the UPA government (to separate Dimple and Malti Yadav's assets from the case) on July 22, Mulayam Singh Yadav fully backed the UPA government which was facing a crisis due to opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal.
At that time Chaturvedi was wooed by intermediaries from the Congress party. Two meetings between Chaturvedi and Amar Singh, then a leader of the Samajwadi Party, had taken place at the house of cabinet minister in the UPA, then. But somehow the court case of Mulayam survived and Chaturvedi never withdrew his original petition.
At the time of the political crisis of 2008, Solicitor General Ghulam Vahanvati even gave the opinion that Dimple and Malti Yadav's assets should not be clubbed with the accused, Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav. While the judgment is reserved in Mulayam's disproportionate assets case, the Yadav family won power in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.
Chaturvedi is unnerved. He says, "I blame Congress party for Yadav's victory in UP. If they would have allowed the CBI to practice ethically then Yadav would have been politically ruined due to the case."
He adds, "My case against Mulayam is strong. If the CBI had fought the case as speedily as they are dealing with Jagan, I have no doubt that Akhilesh Yadav would have been in jail like Jagan Reddy. Both cases are quite similar. Both are related to the assets acquired illegally by looting people's collective wealth and misusing power while in public office. Now, if Dimple Yadav becomes an MP then the CBI will have to move an application to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha if and when the court permits the CBI to prosecute her."
"It is very important for Mualyam and Akhilesh that Dimple wins from Kannauj. If she wins then the status of being a MP will give her some protection that her father-in-law enjoys. CBI ke case se ghar ki bahu ko bachhana hai (The daughter-in-law has to be protected against the CBI's case.)"
Chaturvedi says, "My case against Mulayam is also important because the UPA government is able to keep in check Mamta Banerjee, Sharad Pawar and other allies by showing the support that Mulayam has extended to Congress party. It's a huge favour they are getting thanks to the CBI case that the Congress is able to manipulate."