The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved verdict on a petition filed by an intervener seeking review of the judgment granting relief to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati in the disproportionate assets case filed against her by the CBI.
A bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Dipak Misra, however, clarified that the CBI was free to investigate in a separate disproportionate assets (DA) case against Ms. Mayawati and not in the Taj Corridor case. The bench while reserving verdict on the petition filed Kamlesh Verma said the FIR in the DA case was quashed because the CBI proceeded against her without properly understanding its orders which were confined to Taj Corridor case.
It clarified that the judgment had not taken away CBI’s power to proceed against her in a separate DA case. The bench said “CBI's power to probe the case against Ms. Mayawati has not been taken away by us. We would pass an order clarifying the earlier judgment.”
Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said the earlier judgment required a clarification as the CBI's power was not curtailed by the Supreme Court. When the bench asked Mr. Parasaran “Do you mean to say that it needs to be clarified that the right of CBI to probe was not curtailed by our judgment,” he responded “yes”.
Senior counsel S.C. Mishra, appearing for Ms. Mayawati, opposed the review plea and said the judgment was clear and there was no need for any clarification. “This review plea is like appeal which should not be entertained,” Mr. Mishra said.
Alleging that there has been manifest wrong and miscarriage of justice in letting off Ms. Mayawati, the intervener sought review of the judgment after the CBI decided not to file any review petition. Acting on a petition from Ms. Mayawati, the Bench on July 6, 2012 had quashed the FIR registered against her by the CBI that she acquired disproportionate assets beyond her known sources of income. The court had said “the impugned FIR is without jurisdiction and any investigation pursuant thereto is illegal.”
Mr. Verma, in his petition said “there was an error apparent in the judgment on the face of record because substantial questions of law and compelling facts escaped notice and consideration of this Court whereby manifest wrong has been done causing irreparable injury and loss to the rule of law and grave miscarriage of justice.”
The petitioner said “the court has failed to perform its duty as the protector and preserver of the Constitution and upholder of rule of law by quashing the FIR against Ms. Mayawati. Further the judgment under review bellies the requirement of public policy that cases of corruption by public servants cannot be dealt with by Courts with a technical approach. Rather, public policy required that even if there was some technical flaw in the investigation, same could not have been given precedence over the overwhelming evidence collected by the CBI against Ms. Mayawati.”