The Central Bureau of Investigation has denied in the Supreme Court Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's allegation that it is continuing the probe in the assets case against her under political pressure.
In its response to Ms. Mayawati's representation that the case be reconsidered, the CBI rejected the charge that the investigation was being conducted illegally. The First Information Report was registered on court orders, it said.
A Bench of Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar refused to adjourn the case, listed for August 30, as requested by her counsel on Friday.
At the last hearing in April, the Centre said it would reconsider the disproportionate assets case in view of Ms. Mayawati's fresh representation to the CBI. Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati then said: “The representation was received only a few days ago, and some more time is required to reconsider the whole case.”
In her application, Ms. Mayawati said income tax authorities had found her income (for the relevant period) bona fide through various orders, including the latest one on April 19, and hence no case remained to be investigated by the CBI.
Ms. Mayawati alleged that she was being discriminated against, pointing out that the CBI decided not to file an appeal against the order of a Patna special judge exonerating the former Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, in a wealth case on the basis of the findings of income tax authorities.
Furthermore, the then Solicitor-General gave an opinion in favour of the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh, not to include the income of his family members for purposes of a disproportionate assets case against him.
Ms. Mayawati said the same yardstick should be applied to her.
Denying political pressure, the CBI said the investigation was carried out as per the court orders, and it never overstepped its authority. The credible evidence it collected established that Ms. Mayawati, in conspiracy with her family members, had acquired assets disproportionate to her income, in the garb of gifts and disclosure of income under the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme.
It could not be accepted that the income she claimed by way of gifts from various sources was genuine.
On the contention that the CBI should drop the case in view of the order passed by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) giving her a clean chit, the CBI said: “Since the IT Department has appealed against the order, the case could not be closed, especially in light of an independent investigation carried on by the CBI in which cogent, credible and admissible evidence has been collected.”
Denying that there was any discrimination, the CBI said the case against Ms. Mayawati required to be taken to its logical conclusion before the trial court, as it was filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.