Court being used for political battle against me

New Delhi: Alleging that court is being drawn into a political battle by his adversaries, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to review its direction for a CBI probe into "disproportionate" assets of his and family members.

The SC had ordered a CBI inquiry on 1 March, 2007, into the alleged accumulation of disproportionate assets by Yadav, his sons Akhilesh, Prateek and daughter-in-law Dimple on a public interest litigation (PIL) by an advocate Vishwanath Chaturvedi, reportedly a Congress leader.

"It is a political battle between two personalities which ought not to be allowed in court. This court has been drawn into a political battle," senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the politican, told a bench headed by Justice ALtamas Kabir and H L Dattu.

The counsel made the submission during a hearing of the review petitions filed by Yadav and his family challenging the apex court`s direction to CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry to find out if a prima facie a case of corruption is made out against the family.

Unlike the precedent of hearing review petitions in the judges` chambers, the petition is being heard in the open court at the request of Yadav.

Seeking to review its order, Rohatgi said there was no evidence against the family who are being harassed by political adversaries.

"It is a political battle which is being fought in the court as the petitioner is an affiliate of Congress party. The battle should not be allowed in court under the garb of public interest," Rohatgi said.

Refuting the claim of Chaturvedi that he was not a Congressman, Rohatgi, quoting certain documents, said the petitioner had admitted that he was adopted by Congress party and contested the election on a party ticket.

"He says he has been adopted. We do not know whether he is the son or son-in-law of Congress Party," the senior counsel remarked amidst laughter.

Citing a seven-judge Constitution bench ruling of 1988 in the A R Antulay case and other subsequent judgements, the counsel said courts cannot order a CBI probe when there were other statutory remedies available to an aggrieved party as it amounted to "unwanted interference" in the due process of law.

He said the power of ordering a CBI probe on a mere petition of a rival political party or leader was not available even to the Supreme Court under Article 32 (writ jurisidiction for enforcement of right) and Article 142 (extarodinary powers to pass any direction.)