New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, the central government and the CBI on a petition seeking that the probe agency continue with its investigation into the alleged disproportionate assets of the BSP leader.
"I plead that this investigation should not be quashed," senior counsel Shanti Bhushan told the apex court seeking the review of its July 6, 2012 order.
The apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice on a petition seeking review of the top court's July 6 order quashing a Sep 18, 2003 FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against her in a disproportionate assets case.
The apex court by its July 6, 2012, order had quashed the Sep 18, 2003 FIR filed by the CBI in pursuance to its investigation into alleged disproportionate assets of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati.
The apex court had said that its direction for CBI probe was confined to the disbursal of Rs.17 crore allocated for the Taj Corridor case and could not be read to carry on for a roving inquiry against the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, who appeared for petitioner Kamlesh Verma, read out several orders of the apex court in the Taj Heritage Corridor project case hearing wherein finding "serious irregularities/illegalities" in carrying out the project the SC had Sep 18, 2003, directed the investigating agency to undertake investigation against Mayawati, her environment minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui and other state government officials.
As Shanti Bhushan contended that the apex court order was not limited to the disbursal of Rs.17 crore that were allocated for the Taj Heritage Corridor project but into the overall allegation of corruption and disproportionate assets of the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, the court said that it would issue notice on the limited point of seeking clarification on the width of its order.
The court, in the course of the arguments, told the senior counsel that "there were several orders here and there leading nowhere that is why we issued specific direction relating to the disbursal of Rs.17 crore".
"Is it your case that this court is protecting Mayawati," Justice Sathasivam asked the senior counsel as he persisted with the contention that the CBI probe was not confined just to the disbursal of Rs.17 crore but also into the allegations of corruption and disproportionate assets of BSP leader.
The court told senior counsel Bhushan that CBI could investigate the assets of Mayawati and there was no prohibition and it should seek sanction from the state.
"Government will not do that (accord sanction). They protect each other. That is why it was for the court to bring the offender to book," Shanti Bhushan said, adding that "it is the duty of the court to bring the offender to book".
When the court reiterated that its order to investigate disbursal of Rs.17 crore in Taj Corridor case did not "debar the CBI from undertaking investigation into the allegation of corruption and amassing assets disproportionate to known sources of income", senior counsel said "that is the problem they will not sanction it".
The apex court by its July 6, 2012 order had while quashing the FIR upheld Mayawati's contention that the FIR against her filed by the CBI was mala fide and the misreading of the apex court's orders in the Taj Corridor case.
The court said: "We finally conclude that anything beyond the Taj Corridor matter was not the subject-matter of reference before the Taj Corridor bench."
The court had said that "...after reading all the orders of this court which are available in the 'compilation', we are satisfied that this court being the ultimate custodian of the fundamental rights did not issue any direction to the CBI to conduct a roving inquiry against the assets of the petitioner (Mayawati) commencing from 1995 to 2003...."