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SC setback for Maya

india Updated: Nov 16, 2009 23:26 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

In a setback to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain her plea to set aside Allahabad High Court order admitting a petition seeking revival of corruption charges against her in the Taj Heritage corridor case.

A bench headed by Justice VS Sirpurkar brushed aside the BSP leader’s argument that the case was politically sensitive and could destablise her government. “We are not concerned with these issues,” the bench told Mayawati’s counsel, senior advocate KK Venugopal.

It added: “This petition is simply admitted in the high court. There is no interim order against you (Mayawati). Thousands of petitions are admitted. If we entertain this petition, we would have to do the same with others.”
The bench showed its disinterest when Venugopal, along with Mayawati aide S.C. Misra, claimed the UP Opposition would rake up the issue into a controversy.

Partial relief came for Mayawati after the bench granted liberty to her to argue the question of maintainability of the petition before Allahabad High Court.

The permission came after Venugopal told the bench that a challenge to the then Governor T.V. Rajeswar’s June 2007 decision not to grant sanction for Mayawati’s prosecution in the case has been dismissed by SC on three occasions.
SC had rejected two public interest litigations (PILs), while a plea moved by advocate Kishan Mahajan in the on-going Taj corridor case before a special bench was also declined.

The Allahabad HC had on September 18 issued notice to Mayawati on a PIL, questioning Rao’s decision not to grant sanction to prosecute her and her cabinet colleague Nasimuddin Siddique for their alleged involvement in the scam.

Rajeswar had refused to grant permission for prosecution sought by the CBI against the two in the case on June 3, 2007. The case was registered after the SC ordered CBI in September 2003 to probe the ‘Taj Corridor scam’.