The agency justify decision citing grossly insufficient evidence

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has closed the preliminary inquiry initiated six years ago against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh and his family members for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, citing “grossly insufficient evidence.”

Pursuant to a Supreme Court order in March 2007, the agency registered the preliminary inquiry. However, over the last six years investigations saw several ups and downs with the inquiry first getting concluded in 2007 itself without taking into account the defence of the suspects.

“During the first inquiry, the combined disproportionate assets of Mr. Singh, his sons Akhilesh and Prateek Yadav, and daughter-in-law Dimple were calculated at roughly Rs. 2.63 crore. The final outcome of the inquiry remained pending due to litigations and pendency of review petitions by the suspects,” said a senior CBI official.

In another order dated December 13, 2012, the Supreme Court directed the agency to exclude the income, assets and expenditure pertaining to Mr. Singh’s daughter-in-law, leading to reassessment of the evidence. The CBI official said a careful examination of the documents and statements of witnesses/suspects did not bring forth sufficient evidence of disproportionate assets.

“We are being very transparent and are ready to stand any legal scrutiny,” said CBI Director Ranjit Sinha to The Hindu. According to the agency, further inquiry revealed that a large number of advances were earlier shown as both assets and expenditures. Another CBI official said: “The gifts received by the suspects earlier taken as income have now been validated on the basis of transaction records. A large number of expenditure items have been found to be refund of loans taken during the period under scrutiny; and valuation of a building constructed by Mr. Singh’s father revealed that he along with his son and late wife had contributed less than 10 per cent to the overall cost.”

The official said: “Allegations of benami properties were not substantiated and also, we did not come across any evidence to suggest that Mr. Singh and his relatives had stakes in the U.P. Rural Institute of Medical Science and Research in Saifai and Chaudhary Charan Singh University, as alleged.”

Facts going against the suspects in the present inquiry include an amount of Rs. 51.85 lakh earlier shown as income from loan availed by Mr. Mulayam Singh, which has now been found to be part of a gift amount of Rs. 79.35 lakh. Another expenditure of Rs. 8.42 lakh made by him for the education of his son Akhilesh Yadav abroad has now been taken as a fresh item of expenditure. His election expenses of Rs. 25.95 lakh have also been added to the computation.

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