Samajwadi Party targets CBI, apex court too pulls it up (Roundup)February 10th, 2009 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party Tuesday accused the Congress of using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to frame its leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in a corruption case, and the Supreme Court too asked the agency if it worked at the behest of the government.
On a day of high drama indicating the worsening relations between the two parties, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said the CBI had fudged figures and the Congress-led government could punish Yadav if he was guilty.
“I ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to send Mulayam Singh to jail if he is guilty,” Amar Singh said.
The Congress, put on the defensive, denied it intervened in the CBI’s functioning. “The Congress never interferes with the CBI, which is working under court orders (in this case),” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, criticised the CBI for its frequently changing positions in the case against Tadav.
The agency first wanted to submit its probe report to the court but now it wants to submit it to the government.
When Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran told the court that the CBI was acting on legal advice from the law ministry, it infuriated the division bench hearing the case.
“It means that you are not acting independently. You are acting on behalf of the central government,” remarked the bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph.
The case dates back to November 2005 when former Congress worker and lawyer Vishwanath Chaturvedi filed a public interest litigation in the apex court charging Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family with acquiring assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The court’s stinging remark Tuesday came in the wake of reports that the CBI had resorted to fudging figures and turning half-truths and lies to make the case against the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
The bench said: “It was quite incomprehensible what it has done (in the probe). And (if) what it has done is true, only god will save us.”
Amar Singh also made a similar allegation.
He told reporters here: “The CBI’s status report to the Supreme Court in the case has 288 mistakes. Not one, two or three, it has 288 mistakes.”
“And what are the mistakes? It is just an addition of 288 zeroes. For instance, the value of a car worth Rs.750,000 increased to Rs.15 lakh (Rs.1.5 million).”
The apex court during the day allowed the Samajwadi Party chief to submit evidence of impropriety in the court’s March 2007 order for a probe against him.
The bench allowed Yadav’s plea to submit within a week his affidavit detailing his objections to the 2007 order and other materials, including a CD, which purportedly indicated judicial impropriety.
Amar Singh later said the CD would reveal the truth and said he would not disclose its details since the matter is sub-judice.
The court’s proceedings during the day saw even the government disowning the agency.
Distancing the government from the stand taken by the CBI, Solicitor General Goolam E. Vahanvati told the court: “The government had told the CBI to check its facts and do what is correct.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost no opportunity to criticise the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.
Party general secretary Arun Jaitley told reporters: “There was a clear deal between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party under which the former would ask the CBI to give a report (in the Supreme Court) in favour of Mulayam Singh Yadav.”
Yadav would in return support the government in the July 2008 trust vote in parliament over the India-US nuclear deal, he alleged.
Tags: amar singh, apex court, behest, cbi, central bureau of investigation, chaturvedi, congress president sonia gandhi, corruption case, division bench, high drama, law ministry, manmohan, manmohan singh, mulayam singh yadav, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, public interest litigation, solicitor general, uttar pr, vishwanath