CBI probe against Yadav Singh justified: SC

New Delhi, Aug 7 :The Supreme Court today dismissed the petition of U P government challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court directing CBI investigation into corruption charges against former NOIDA Chief Engineer Yadav Singh, saying the state government should instead be happy.

“We sincerely feel that the case requires investigation by the CBI. Let the CBI investigate the matter,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said while rejecting the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal that any independent agency other than the CBI be entrusted with the probe.

Sibal, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Government, told the bench that it was “putting too much trust on the CBI” which was being used to “destablise” and “paralyse” the entire state government in which Yadav Singh was “hand in glove”.

However, his submission did not find favour with the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, which said that while appearing for Congress leader Digvijay Singh in Vyapam matter, Sibal imposed full trust on the CBI probe.

“The moment you came for CBI probe in Vyapam matter, didn’t we entrusted it to the CBI,” the bench told Sibal, who was arguing that “let the matter (Yadav Singh case) go to some other agency like Special Investigating Team.”

While justifying the High Court order, the bench said, “Uttar Pradesh should be happy that the matter is now with the CBI.”

Sibal, however, said that the state government was never for the CBI probe into the matter as it was being looked after by a Judicial Commission.

He also made an attempt to target the Centre for the PIL which led to the CBI probe into the case by questioning the jurisdiction of the apex-court appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money which recommended thorough probe into the assets of Yadav Singh.

“Is this the jurisdiction of SIT. Can a Joint Secretary write this type of letter. What is this SIT on black money has to do with the matter of Uttar Pradesh,” the senior advocate and Congress leader submitted.

Sibal said the SIT was set up on the petition of expelled BJP leader Ram Jethmalani and others for taking steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

Expressing its disinclination to entertain the petition of the Uttar Pradesh Government, the bench said it was for the Yadav Singh, who is the affected party here, to consider challenging the order on the CBI probe.

“Let that gentleman (Yadav Singh) come here. What has the state of Uttar Pradesh to do in this. If a person feels that the High Court should not have entrusted the probe to CBI, he should himself come,” the bench said.

Sibal responded that Yadav Singh was “hand in glove” with others who sought CBI probe and asked the bench to look into the timing of the matter which took a turn after the filing of a PIL.
“The attempt is to destabilise the entire state government by CBI. It is to paralyse the state government. Where are we going,” he submitted.

The bench said, “generally we are slow in entrusting matter to the CBI. But after going through the order of the High Court, we feel the High Court is justified in ordering CBI probe.”

When Sibal realised that the bench has made up its mind to stick to CBI probe, he said there should be an order that the High Court would monitor the investigation.
“We permit Uttar Pradesh Government to make an application in the High Court seeking monitoring of the probe,” the bench said but declined the plea that the investigation be entrusted to any independent agency like SIT.

“Sorry, there will be no other agency,” the bench told Sibal. The High Court had on July 16 ordered CBI probe into the case of alleged corruption by Singh on a PIL, filed by social activist Nutan Thakur, accusing him of amassing property disproportionate to known sources of his income.

In her PIL filed before the High Court, Thakur had given details of Income Tax raids on Yadav’s establishments in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad on November 27-28 last year and alleged recovery of illegal properties and sought a CBI probe into the matter.

She had alleged that she had filed a supplementary affidavit giving facts, including details of various alleged false companies floated by Yadav Singh for siphoning off illegal money.

The state government counsel had, however, opposed the PIL as not being maintainable and noted that the government had also constituted a judicial commission to probe the matter. The state government had suspended the Noida Chief Engineer on December 8, 2014.