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Taj case haunts Mayawati again as SC issues notice

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 28, 2013
First Published: 13:10 IST(28/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:57 IST(29/1/2013)

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea seeking prosecution of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in the Rs. 17 crore Taj Corridor scam case without the sanction of the Governor.


"We will examine the case," a bench of Justice HL Dattu and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, issuing notices to Mayawati, the then environment minister in her cabinet Naseemuddin Siddiqui, the Centre, CBI and the UP government seeking their replies to the petition in four weeks.

In 2002, Mayawati government had launched the project to beautify areas near the Taj Mahal. A year later, SC had directed CBI to conduct an inquiry into an alleged scam in the R175 crore Taj Corridor project. However, only R17 crore was released for it.

The petitioner has challenged the November 5, 2012 judgment of the Allahabad High Court which had dismissed a batch of petitions seeking Mayawati's prosecution on the ground that there was no sanction to prosecute her. The petitioner contended that the Governor's sanction was not required for their prosecution for the offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case against them had been registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for cheating) and 471 (using forged document as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13(1)(d) read with 13(2) [abuse of official position] of the PC Act.

Mayawati's counsel and senior advocate KK Venugopal said this was for the fourth time such a submission has been made against her, but the bench decided to examine the issue afresh.

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