J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it was up to the Central Bureau of Investigation to prosecute the former Congress MP from Assam, Mani Kumar Subba, on the basis of reports expressing doubts about his citizenship.

Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan told counsel: “I have gone through the report of the CBI. There are serious doubts about your [Mr. Subba’s] identity. Let the CBI take appropriate action. We will not issue any direction.”

Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Deepak Verma are the other judges on the Bench, which disposed of a petition filed by Birendra Nath Singh in 2005 questioning Mr. Subba’s citizenship.

When counsel A.K. Sinha, appearing for the petitioner, sought a direction for prosecuting Mr. Subba on the basis of the CBI report, the CJI said: “If CBI wants to prosecute [him], let it prosecute. We have no objection. If an offence is made out in the opinion of CBI, it can prosecute him. CBI can do it by itself. The law will take its course.”

The court said the petitioner could approach the CBI for lodging an FIR on the basis of reports that a cognisable offence was made out against Mr. Subba for cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and for violating the provisions of the Passports Act.

The petitioner alleged that Mr. Subba, former MP from Tezpur and lottery baron, came to India after a murder case had been registered against him in Nepal in the early 1970s.

The CBI, after investigation, filed reports in the court saying the birth certificate produced by Mr. Subba to the Election Commission was not original. Further, he had submitted false documents and mentioned baseless information in his affidavit to the Commission.

Mr. Subba, however, claimed that he was born in Darjeeling and his parents migrated from Sikkim. Senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Mr. Subba, said the Congress leader was never an accused in the Nepal murder case. This was established by a report received from authorities in Kathmandu.