Illegal assets: Apex court to hear Mulayam’s plea Feb 1 (Lead)

October 19th, 2010 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday said it will hold a two-day final hearing starting Feb 1, 2011 on former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s plea seeking review of the court’s direction for a federal probe into a complaint alleging possession of illegal assets.

After a brief hearing, an apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice H.L. Dattu said arguments on the plea will be held during the post-lunch session on both the days.

Yadav, his sons Akhilesh Yadav and Prateek Yadav and his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav moved the court seeking the review of its March 1, 2007 order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to hold preliminary enquiry on a complaint by Vishwanath Chaturvedi.

Chaturvedi alleged possession of disproportional assets by the Yadav family.

Yadav said in his petition that the court could not order nor had the jurisdiction to order a CBI probe.

Attorney General G. Vahanvati, however, told the court that the issue was decided by the constitution bench of the apex court by its Feb 17, 2010 verdict. The constitution bench held that the apex court and the high courts had the powers of ordering investigations by the CBI.

The apex court by its March 1, 2007 order directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the assets of Yadav and his family members.

The court asked the investigating agency to see whether the allegations made by Chaturvedi were correct or not. It also asked the CBI to place its preliminary findings before the central government for further steps.

However, Oct 23, 2007, the CBI moved an application before the court saying that under its mandate it was obliged to file charge sheet after its preliminary findings. The investigating agency said it was not obliged to present its findings to the government and take directions.

The CBI told the court that it had completed its preliminary inquiry into the disproportionate assets complaint and sought its directions to move further in the matter.

However, Dec 6, 2008 the CBI moved yet another application saying that it had received a representation from Yadav and his three other family members.

The agency said that in the wake of legal advice tendered to it following these representations, it wanted to withdraw its October 2007 application.

Both the CBI applications of 2007 and 2008 are also pending in court.

Justice Kabir told the attorney general and senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Yadav, that the arguments would be confined to the second half of the court’s proceedings on both the days.

The court directed that in order to conclude the hearing in two days, the counsel should concentrate on their main points in the course of their arguments and submit most of their pleading in written form.

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