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

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.

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.

Citing a seven-judge Constitution bench ruling of 1988 in the A R Antulay case and other subsequent judgments, 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 jurisdiction for enforcement of right) and Article 142 (extraordinary powers to pass any direction.)

Yadav submitted that at best the complainant could have lodged an FIR or alternatively under 190CrPC to move a magistrate for an appropriate direction to register an FIR to the authorities concerned.
    
Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for Mulayam's son Akhilesh, contended he has been filing annual IT returns and there is no allegation of tax evasion against him. "It is wrong to club the properties of all family members together. I am an MP and have my own source of income. There is no allegation that I hold benami property for my father,"
Dwivedi submitted.

The apex court had directed CBI to investigate the matter and submit its report to the union government to decide further course of action in the case but later the investigation agency prayed to the court to allow it to submit the report before the Supreme Court.

It again moved another application in the apex court seeking to withdraw its plea for submitting the report to the apex court and instead stick to the original direction. However, the move evoked criticism from the court.

"You (CBI) are acting at the behest of central government and the Law Ministry. You are not acting on your own," a Bench comprising Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph had remarked at that time. The matter would be taken up for further hearing on February 8.

Vishwanath Chaturvedi, had alleged in his petition that the SP chief and his family members had amassed assets worth over Rs 100 crore through corrupt means during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.