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CBI now tells SC it'll charge Mayawati for illegal wealth
August, 27th 2010

Mayawati's encounter with the CBI has come full circle, with the investigative agency telling the Supreme Court that there was a fit case for prosecution of the UP chief minister in a disproportionate assets case.

In an affidavit, CBI contested Mayawati's argument that the agency was harassing her despite the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) backing her stand that the "disproportionate assets" were gifts received by her. CBI argued that ITAT findings were based on assumptions and conjectures whereas evidence collected by CBI was unimpeachable.

In April this year, attorney-general G E Vahanvati had told SC that CBI would consider her April 20 representation protesting CBI's stubbornness in persisting with the DA case despite the clean chit from the I-T department. The matter comes up for hearing on Monday.

The latest turn in the DA case is being seen through the prism of her equations with the Centre. CBI's readiness to consider her plea to accept the I-T department's certificate to her came when Centre needed BSP's support in the trial of strength with the Opposition over cut motions. On April 27, BSP voted with UPA against the cut motion brought by BJP and Left.

Curiously, the agency had shown willingness to consider her plea to accept the I-T department's certificate to her as recently as April this year. Its rejection of the certificate now coincides with escalation of tension between Congress and BSP, with Rahul Gandhi joining the protest against police firing on farmers resisting acquisition of land for Mayawati's dream project, Yamuna Expressway.

The renewed hostility between the two sides is said to be the reason why this time Congress preferred to have an agreement with BJP to secure the passage of the nuclear liability bill on Wednesday rather than strike deals with BSP, SP and RJD.

Countering Mayawati's argument, CBI, in its affidavit before the SC, argued that the I-T Appellate Tribunal's finding, which had already been appealed against in Allahabad HC, could not be cited as evidence in a criminal case in which investigation had been completed and the agency was ready with the chargesheet against her.

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