The Supreme Court’s verdict quashing a nine-year-long disproportionate assets (DA) case against former UP chief minister Mayawati will be a shot in her arm while fighting against political opponents.
The DA case was lodged against her in 2003 by the CBI while investigating the Taj heritage corridor case in which a PIL was filed in the apex court claiming she had squandered `17 crore sanctioned for the project. The CBI did not find any major irregularity in the Taj case as nothing scandalous was found in the expenditure of `17 crore and the agencies involved in the construction of Taj corridor had submitted their user certificate.
The CBI claimed that it had found evidences of DA of Mayawati and registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2003 against her. The CBI conducted raids at different places related to the BSP chief and prepared a report stating it had found clinching evidences against her for the manner in which she amassed assets and properties.
BSP general secretary Satish Chand Mishra pleaded before the Income Tax Appellate Authority (ITAA) that the alleged income shown by the CBI was donated by BSP workers. The ITAA refused the CBI’s findings. On the other hand, Satish Mishra prayed before the High Court that the CBI had no right to investigate the DA case and it had registered the FIR unconstitutionally. “The Supreme Court had ordered the CBI to probe the Taj heritage corridor case,” said Satish Mishra before the High Court, which referred the matter to the Supreme Court. The SC today justified his plea and quashed the FIR of the DA case, closing down the case of corruption against her.
None of the BSP’s political opponents, the BJP or the SP, publicly criticised the verdict nor did they link it to an outcome of BSP’s support to the Congress for the Presidential election. But murmurs along this line could be heard in private conversations.