Accusing Mayawati of amassing massive assets disproportionate to her known sources of income, the CBI has told the Supreme Court that it has substantial evidence to prove a “criminal nexus” between her income and that of her relatives.
In an affidavit filed in the SC, the Central Bureau of Investigation said there was adequate evidence to show the benami (literally, in another’s name) nature of assets acquired by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
“The petitioner and her relatives have acquired the said assets by conspiracy and by acquiring ‘gifts’ borne out of sudden burst of love and affection for the petitioner [Mayawati] and her relatives… when the petitioner was holding an important public office,” the affidavit stated.
“There is strong circumstantial, documentary and oral evidence, including statements recorded [before a magistrate], which shows there is a criminal nexus between the income of the relatives and the petitioner [Mayawati],” the CBI said, adding that the evidence would be scrutinised by the trial court.
The affidavit was filed in response to Mayawati’s petition seeking that a police complaint of disproportionate assets be quashed. This case is itself an offshoot of the Taj corridor project case, in which the SC had ordered the registration of the FIR in September 2003.
The main case is still awaiting sanction to prosecute a number of public servants, including Mayawati.
The matter is likely to come up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan next week.
On the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal’s verdict — which had gone in Mayawati’s favour — the CBI said the Income Tax Department has already challenged it in the Delhi High Court.
The agency also denied Mayawati’s allegation that the CBI had contacted MP Brijesh Pathak — a member of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party — for support to the Centre during the July 2009 trust vote.
Terming the allegation “mischievous”, the CBI said: “The petitioner is unnecessarily trying to mix politics with a criminal investigation against her with a view to delaying… the process of law.”