`Credible evidence against Mayawati in DA case`

The CBI has told the Supreme Court that the prosecution of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a disproportionate assets case cannot be dropped as it has found cogent, credible and admissible evidence against her.

Updated: Aug 27, 2010, 15:26 PM IST

New Delhi: The CBI has told the Supreme Court that the prosecution of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a disproportionate assets case cannot be dropped as it has found cogent, credible and admissible evidence against her.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court in response to Mayawati`s contention that the probe agency should drop the proceedings against her in the wake of the Commissioner Income
Tax (CIT appeal) order of April 5 and 19, 2010 giving her a clean chit, the CBI submitted that the order has been challenged before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

"It is submitted that the order of CIT (appeal) passed on April 5 and 19, 2010 with respect to the assessment year 2001-02 and 2002-03 have been challenged by the Income Tax Department in the ITAT and the matter is sub judice.

"Since the I-T department has appealed against the order, therefore, the DA case cannot be closed just on the basis of these orders specially in the light of independent investigation carried on by CBI in which cogent, credible and admissible evidence has been collected," the CBI said.

The CBI had on April 23 submitted before the apex court that it will consider a representation made by Mayawati for closure of proceedings against her in the corruption case in view of the favourable orders passed by the income tax authorities.

CBI contested Mayawati`s plea that the probe agency was harassing her despite Commissioner Income Tax (CIT appeal) giving her a clean chit in the case, saying there are reliable and cogent oral and documentary evidences to prove the case.

"It is strongly denied that the case is based on surmises, conjectures or preconceived notions, rather the case is based on reliable and admissible evidence.

"During the investigations conducted by the CBI, reliable and cogent oral, documentary and circumstantial evidences have been collected in support of the bogus nature
of the gifts in the form of cash and other immovable assets claimed to have been received by the petitioner (Mayawati)," the affidavit said.

The CBI said that the complexion of the matter has not changed in any manner following the CIT order and it has registered and carried out investigation of the DA case in pursuance of the apex court`s order and has never overstepped its authority.

"CBI had conducted investigation on all aspects of income, expenditure and assets of Mayawati and her family members duly taking into account all the relevant materials,"
the affidavit said, adding that the probe agency was not proceeding against the BSP supremo as a super statutory authority.

CBI also contested the claim of the UP chief minister questioning its jurisdiction in proceeding against her by referring to the investigation into the Taj Corridor case in
which she was absolved by the agency of misappropriating Rs 17 crore disbursed for the project.

"The DA case against Mayawati is distinctly separate from the Taj Corridor case which has no bearing in the present case," the agency said.

The affidavit said that the investigation conducted by CBI is different from the proceedings of the I-T department as criminal probe by the agency is based on evidence admissible in court of law.

The investigating agency said that Mayawati`s plea of discrimination vis-a-vis her political rival Samajwadi Party supreme Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad does not have any reasonable basis.

"It (the ratio of the case against Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav) is not applicable in the case (Mayawati`s) as the present matter is a criminal case under
Prevention of Corruption Act and not a case of tax liabilities," the CBI said.

Contesting the allegation of discrimination, the CBI said that the entire evidence collected by it will be placed before the trial court to take the case to its logical

The Attorney General had, during last hearing, sought time to give thought to the representation by the UP chief minister saying that the agency will go through it.

The chief minister, in her representation, had said that the CBI was bound to apply the same principle adopted by it in the DA cases of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad in which proceedings were closed on the basis of the findings of the income tax authorities and on the advice of law officers.

Mayawati, in her affidavit, had alleged that the CBI was proceeding in a discriminatory and hostile manner against her in the DA case by adopting different yardsticks vis-a-vis
cases those involving Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad.

She had contended the case registered against her by the CBI six years ago has been "completely demolished" by the two orders of the Income Tax Department passed on April 5 and 19 in her favour. The I-T orders relate to the assessment years 2001-02 and 2002-03.

The BSP chief, who has been maintaining that the case against her was politically motivated, sought its closure on the basis of the recent orders of the CIT (Appeal) which held that all the gifts received by her for the two assessment years were "totally genuine and bonafide".

Mayawati had said that under such circumstances, "no case of disproportionate assets can be sustained against me".

CBI, in an earlier filed affidavit in connection with the case, had said it has evidence to prosecute Mayawati on the charge of amassing illegal wealth.

The investigating agency had said there was evidence to prove that the BSP chief and her family members acquired assets far exceeding their legal sources of income.

CBI had said it has statements of witnesses to show that the UP Chief Minister "forcibly acquired gifts from people".

Mayawati had also placed before the Supreme Court the records from a debate in Parliament to counter the allegations of CBI that there was ample evidence to prosecute her in the case.

CBI, in its affidavit filed in July 2009, had said the competent authority has already taken a decision to file the final report under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure
Code in the designated trial court.

The agency had pointed out that her declared assets of Rs one crore in 2003 went up to Rs 50 crore in 2007 and said there was "ample evidence" to show she had amassed wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income.

Mayawati had claimed she had received the money through donations from party workers, which included meagre sums of Rs five and Rs ten which they contributed on her birthday.

The UP CM had filed a petition in May, 2008, seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against her in the case alleging it was registered due to "political reasons".