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Assets case off Mayawati's back; SC snubs CBI

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi/Lucknow, July 06, 2012
First Published: 08:15 IST(6/7/2012) | Last Updated: 02:31 IST(7/7/2012)

After the drubbing in the recent assembly elections, BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati was in for a spot of good luck on Friday.

 The Supreme Court quashed a nine-year-old corruption case pending against her, pulling up the CBI for exceeding its jurisdiction.

Mayawati was charged in 1995 with embezzling Rs. 17 crore meant to upgrade tourist facilities near the Taj Mahal.

"This court… did not issue any direction to the CBI to conduct a roving inquiry against the assets of the petitioner… even though the Taj Heritage Corridor Project was conceived only in July 2002," said the court.

"We finally conclude that anything beyond the Taj corridor matter was not the subject matter of reference before the Taj corridor bench," it said.

But a CBI official said, "The CBI is studying the judgment in detail. We will explore the option of filing a review petition."

In Lucknow, Mayawati thanked the court, as well as party members, saying, "My party members stood like a rock beside me."

She also said all these years she had maintained that this was a "political conspiracy".

SP leader Shahid Siddiqui said, "This is not Mayawati's victory but CBI's defeat… Did the CBI commit this (technical) error on purpose to save Mayawati or was it a genuine mistake?"

The Congress remained non-committal, with union law minister Salman Khurshid refusing to comment, saying he was yet to read the judgment.

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