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CBI to take help of `neutral CAs’

Monday 12 March 2007, by KUMAR*Vinay

They will scrutinise material for enquiry into assets issue of Mulayam Singh

Probe to ascertain whether case is made out or not CBI may seek "correction" of court order

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation will take the services of a "neutral team" of chartered accountants to scrutinise the material for a preliminary enquiry against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

After registering a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on March 5 on the Supreme Court’s direction, the CBI recorded the statement of petitioner Vishwanath Chaturvedi, an advocate who also claimed to be a Congress activist. His statements, very general in nature, were on sworn affidavits, CBI sources said.

"We are proceeding with extreme caution and care. The preliminary enquiry will be conducted to ascertain if a case is made out or not. To ensure transparency, quick, fair and balanced probe, we will call for a panel of neutral chartered accountants either from their own institute or the Comptroller and Auditor-General or the Central Vigilance Commission," privileged sources told The Hindu.

The sources said the CBI was also likely to seek a "correction" of the Supreme Court order, which said the agency should submit its report, after concluding the PE, to the Central Government. "We are also examining this aspect and may seek the view of the court to ascertain if it was legally tenable as it does not seem to be in line with the existing provisions in the law."

`Strict compliance’

The CBI was proceeding in "strict compliance" of the order in a "responsible manner" as per the law. In the initial phase, the agency would scrutinise the documents such as sale deeds and other statements filed by the parties along with the public interest litigation petition.

It was on Mr. Chaturvedi’s petition that the Supreme Court ordered on March 1 a preliminary enquiry by the CBI into allegations that Mr. Singh and his family had acquired assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Vehemently opposing a CBI probe, Mr. Mulayam Singh has alleged that the agency was neither "impartial nor unbiased."

See online : The Hindu

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