The Supreme Court today asked the Allahabad High Court to decide at the earliest the issue of alleged misuse of public fund by Uttar Pradesh government in installing the statues of various Dalit leaders, including Chief Minister Mayawati, and her party poll symbol ‘elephant’ at various places in the state.The apex court made it clear that the pendency of the petition before it will not come in the way of the Lucknow bench of the high court in deciding the petition demanding a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of the public fund.
“The subject matter of this writ petition under Article 32 overlaps with the pending petitions in the Allahabad High Court. This writ petition will remain pending in the Supreme Court. However, we make it clear that the pendency of this writ petition in the Supreme Court will not pre-empt the High Court from deciding the matter at the earliest,” the bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said.
On July 9, the apex court had asked the Election Commission to decide within three months the issue of maintainability, raised by Mayawati, of pleas for freezing BSP’s poll symbol ‘elephant’, for allegedly violating the poll panel’s instructions on its use by installing statues of elephants all over the state.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, said EC has rejected the complaint filed before it.The apex court had on February 22 directed EC to adjudicate whether installation of statues of Mayawati and elephant, BSP’s election symbol, at various parks in the state, spending public money violated elections law. The apex court had asked EC to decide the issue after a PIL was filed in the court alleging that 60 statues of elephant were being installed by Uttar Pradesh government at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places misusing state funds.
The PIL filed by Advocate Ravi Kant in the apex court have accused the UP government of misusing public money for installation of statues of Dalit leaders, including Mayawati, and the party symbol at various places in the state.The PIL had sought a direction to restrain the Mayawati government from installing her statues and those of elephants at public places and demanded a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of public funds.
The advocates had claimed the total money used by Mayawati government from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 for such projects was to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. The advocates were joined by two others in filing separate complaints before the EC.
FOR THE FULL REPORT OF THE ELECTION COMMISSION ORDER PLEASE READ
- EC rejects plea against installation of statues (indialawyers.wordpress.com)
- SC verdict on Mayawati’s Noida park today (ibnlive.in.com)