SC reserves judgment in Taj corridor case
The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its judgment in the Taj Corridor Project case involving BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati.
The apex court is to decide whether only the report of investigating officer in the Rs 170 crore scam should be sent to the court of magistrate for consideration or should it be sent along with the report of CBI director, director of prosecution and the opinion of the Attorney General of India Milon K Banerjee for consideration of the magistrate.
A bench comprising Justice SB Sinha, Justice SH Kapadia and Justice DK Jain also directed the CBI to file a status report with regard to the CBI investigation in relation to alleged amassing of huge assets beyond her known sources of income by misusing her official status as state Chief Minister.
It may be noted here that the investigating officer in the Taj Corridor case had opined that a case is made out against Mayawati, Naseemuddin Siddqui, environment minister in her government and some top bureaucrats, while Director Prosecution, CBI Director and the Attorney General have given an opinion that no case was made out against the ex chief minister.
The apex court had earlier directed the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) to investigate the case and on his report a CBI inquiry was ordered by the apex court in 2003.
The main contention of senior counsel for Mayawati, KK Venugopal before the court was that CBI director being the senior-most officer of the premier investigating agency, his report was final and the same should be sent to the court of magistrate for consideration.
Former chief secretary DS Bagga, UP government secretaries PL Punia and VK Gupta were also given a clean chit by the CBI. The counsel for Central Pollution Control Board Vijay Panjwani, however, pleaded that section 173 CrPC gives power to the magistrate to take or refuse to take cognisance of an offence on the basis of evidence placed by him. Section 197 CrPC makes official sanction for launching criminal prosecution against a public servant mandatory and without valid sanction prosecution cannot be launched.
The court also directed that the investigationg officer in the Taj Corridor case shall not be transferred till this court delivered its judgment in the case.