The CBI has questioned BSP chief Mayawati about some properties allegedly acquired by her as the agency gives the final touches to its report on a disproportionate assets case registered against the former UP chief minister.
Sleuths of the agency's Anti-Corruption Unit quizzed Mayawati discreetly at her residence in Lucknow on October five and sought clarifications about properties allegedly acquired in her name and in the name of her family members, highly placed official sources said. The CBI questioned Mayawati despite giving an assurance to the Supreme Court that its probe into the disproportionate assets case against Mayawati had been completed.
The sources said the questioning last week was "only to tie up loose ends" before the CBI took the next step in the case, which would be either chargesheeting her or filing a closure report. Mayawati had also been questioned earlier by the agency.
The CBI, in its status report sent last year to the Supreme Court, had opined that a chargesheet could not be filed against her in the Rs 175-crore Taj Heritage Corridor case.
This gave a new twist to the scam as the investigating officer and five others were of the opinion that prosecution could be launched against Mayawati, while only the director of prosecution and the then CBI director had felt that no chargesheet could be filed on the basis of available evidence. Mayawati was not immediately available for comments about the questioning by the CBI.
The CBI had conducted raids in 2003 in Lucknow, Khurja, Bulandshahar (all in Uttar Pradesh) and in Delhi after the agency filed an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The searches revealed documents related to the purchase of properties in Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh between April 1, 1995, and August 29, 2003. Mayawati had resigned as chief minister on August 27, 2003.
In the FIR, the CBI said Mayawati had disclosed her income as only Rs 1.12 crore during the period, whereas her bank balance in two accounts at Parliament Street and Moti Bagh (in Delhi) alone amounted to Rs 2.51 crore. The FIR also said she had purchased a plot in Lucknow in March 2003 in the name of her party for Rs 45.75 lakh. This property was transferred to her name on August eight, 2003.
Another deal was for the purchase of about 5.15 hectares at Gyaspur in Bulandshahr for Rs 33 lakh in the name of her brother Annad Kumar, whom the CBI claimed did not have the financial means for such a purchase.