In a major setback to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI to go ahead with the probe against them in the disproportionate assets case.

However, the court dropped the investigation against Mr. Akhilesh’s wife Dimple saying she was not holding any public office.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice H.L. Dattu also modified its March 1, 2007 order and ordered the CBI to file the status report before the court and not to the government. “We are modifying our order of March 1, 2007 to remove the error in it directing the CBI to place the report before the government,” the Bench said.

“Since the CBI is an independent body, there is no obligation for it to file the status report before the government,” the court said.

The Bench said it was also not contemplated in the Delhi Police Establishment Act — under which the CBI functions — that the agency had to file its report to the government. “The CBI, which is probing the case, has to decide what steps it has to take,” the judges said. — PTI

Akhilesh should step down: BJP

Lucknow Special Correspondent reports:

The BJP demanded the resignation of Mr. Akhilesh Yadav in the wake of the Supreme Court order. He should step down to facilitate an impartial probe by the CBI, said State BJP chief Laxmi Kant Bajpai.

Mr. Bajpai drew a parallel with RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s decision to name his wife Rabri Devi as his successor when he had to quit as Bihar Chief Minister in connection with the fodder scam. The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti, also resigned following a controversy over the Tricolour. Mr. Bajpai said senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and the former Delhi Chief Minister, Madan Lal Khurana, quit their constitutional posts following the hawala scandal. The former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, was asked to resign by the BJP leadership after he was indicted by the Lokayukta in the illegal mining case.

Mr. Bajpai said the rejection of the review petitions in the DA case filed by Mr. Yadav, his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and brother Prateek Yadav indicated that prima facie the matter was serious. It should be ensured that the CBI inquiry was not used as a political weapon by the Congress.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur said it was for the Samajwadi Party to decide on the issue.