The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the Madhya Pradesh government's allotment of a 20-acre piece of land at a throwaway price to a trust named after the late Kushabhau Thakre and termed it an "act of favouritism and nepotism".
While Thakre was BJP president in the 1990s, the list of trustees includes senior leaders LK Advani, M Venkaiah Naidu and Murli Manohar Joshi.
The order came on a petition by the Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress, a consumer society registered in MP, which moved the SC after the MP high court refused to quash the allotment.
A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly said the allotment, which was made in September 25, 2004 by the Uma Bharti-led government, was in gross violation of article 14 of the Constitution (right to equality).
It cancelled the state's notification that treated a Rs 25-lakh payment from the trust as the total premium, leasing out the land at an annual rent of Rs 1.
The state government earlier argued that the Centre and many other states had already given land to several such trusts in the past.
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan called it "shameful, blatant and completely brazen corruption".
BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay refused to comment, saying his party was yet to study the judgment.