New Delhi: In a setback to Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to recall its earlier order of directing a CBI probe into the allegation of their possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
An apex court bench of Chief Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice H.L. Dattu, while pronouncing their judgement on Mulayam Singh's plea seeking review of the court's 2007 verdict directing CBI to carry out preliminary inquiry into the allegations of their possessing disproportionate assets, said that investigating agency will act independently without taking any instructions from government.
Pronouncing the judgement, Chief Justice Kabir said that the investigating agency will not submit its report of its investigations to the central government.
However, in a breather for Mulayam's daughter-in-law and Akilesh's wife, Dimple Yadav, the court dropped the probe against her. The bench cleared Dimple from the case, saying, the "probe against her is liable to be dropped and the review petition filed by her is allowed."
The apex court had reserved its order on February 17, last year on the review petition filed by Mulayam, his sons Akhilesh and Prateek and Dimple.
The court had ordered a CBI inquiry on March 1, 2007 into the alleged accumulation of disproportionate assets by the Yadav family, on a public interest litigation (PIL) by an advocate, Vishwanath Chaturvedi, reportedly a Congress leader.
CBI will take independent action in pursuance to the March 1, 2007 order in accordance with the law, the bench said.
Deviating from the precedent of hearing review petitions in the judges' chambers, the bench had heard the petition in open court at Yadavs' request.
Seeking review of the apex court order, Mulayam and his family members had submitted that there was no evidence against them and that they were being harassed by political adversaries.
They had assailed the apex court's earlier order claiming it would "set a dangerous precedent" of allowing political opponents to file "false and frivolous" petitions against their detractors.
Earlier, during the arguments, the Centre, while refraining from going into the merits of the allegations against the Yadavs, had cited a number of judicial pronouncements to drive home the point that the apex court has powers to order a CBI inquiry in "exceptional cases."