NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed the CBI to probe into alleged illegal activities of an Uttar Pradesh legislator, who is also accused in other criminal cases, saying the investigation by other central agencies prima facie suggests that shell companies associated with him were purportedly indulging in money laundering.
The apex court order asking CBI to submit the status report within three months came after it examined the reports of the Special Fraud Investigation Organisation (SFIO), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) which has carried out probe on a complaint against BSP Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Mohammad Iqbal.
"The new reports by SFIO, ED, CBDT suggest that several companies which are prima facie shell companies or fake companies are indulging in money laundering and needs investigation and CBI needs to examine the serious issues and take into consideration these developments," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
The bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, also issued notice to the CBI asking the agency to examine the reports of other central agencies for filing its status report.
At the outset, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted that pursuant to April 25 order, further action has been taken and the agencies have filed the status reports but there was a need for more time to examine the cases as people are non-cooperative and are not forthcoming.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by another UP leader Ranvir Singh, who has accused Iqbal of indulging in money laundering.
His counsel Harin Raval alleged that CBI has not taken any action on the complaint.
However, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the BSP MLC, said that there was biasness in the probe and the person coming to the Supreme Court himself has three criminal cases against him.
The apex court on the last hearing had also perused the SFIO report about the probe carried out in various companies associated with Iqbal.
Earlier, the Centre had submitted the report of SFIO about the investigation carried out by the agency into 111 companies.
Iqbal had said he has nothing to do with the family businesses and referred to the report of Saharanpur district magistrate and added he has been dragged to this court.
He had said "I have shares in some of the companies but I am not a director in any of them."
However, the bench had referred to the probe which revealed that large number of companies have been set up on same address.
It had said Iqbal has set up partnership firms and the funds are being transferred from partnership firm to the tune of Rs 1,374 crore and the report suggests that he is the kingpin.
Earlier, on February 8, the apex court in a sharp reaction had said "Both sides appear to be dubious," as it heard a PIL against Iqbal.
The court had sought fresh status reports from central probe agencies on alleged activities of Iqbal while asking the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it of the criminal antecedents of petitioner Ranvir Singh, who has filed the PIL against the BSP lawmaker.
The Centre had earlier said the probe conducted so far has indicated that there was some nexus with the alleged activities of former Uttar Pradesh Minister Babu Singh Khushwaha, an accused in NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) scam, and the companies attached to the MLC.
The court had earlier termed the case as part of the "turf war" between the parties.
The petition, filed by Singh, has accused the MLC of indulging in money laundering and other criminal activities.