Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mayavati and ApexCourt



Court rejects Mayawati's plea in Taj Corridor case

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a special leave petition filed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati against an order of the Allahabad High Court admitting a petition challenging dropping of the case against her in the 'Rs.175 crore Taj Corridor Project case.'

A Bench of Justices V.S. Sirpurkar and B. Sudershan Reddy, while declining to interfere with the High Court order at this stage, said, it would be open to Ms. Mayawati to raise the question of maintainability of the petition before the High Court.

Ms. Mayawati had filed the appeal challenging the order admitting a PIL petition filed by Kamlesh Verma and two others challenging the refusal of the then Governor T.V. Rajeswar to grant sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute her in the Taj case and dropping of the case thereafter.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Ms. Mayawati, submitted that the PIL was an abuse of the process of law after the Supreme Court had dismissed three similar petitions and one application filed by amicus curiaein the Taj case. Justice Sirpurkar pointed out that the High Court had not passed any final order.

When counsel said that the PIL had the propensity to destabilise the government, Justice Sirpurkar said: "We are not concerned with what the opposition is going to demand to destabilise the government. We will not go into issues whether it is politically motivated or not. You are not precluded from raising all the issues before the High Court."

The CBI in 2007 had filed the charge sheet against the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in the Special Court in Lucknow. But the Governor rejected the CBI's request for sanction to prosecute her and the trial court closed the case for want of sanction. The PIL in the High Court cited the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Prakash Singh Badal versus State of Punjab, in which it was stated that sanction was not required in corruption cases. Ms. Mayawati's appeal is directed against the High Court's decision to admit the PIL.

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