The Supreme Court on Friday said that it was of the view that BSP leader Mayawati has to reimburse all the public money spent on the building of her and party symbol ‘elephants’ statutes at public places.
A bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “Pay all the money from your (Mayawati) pocket. Madam Mayawati has to reimburse the public exchequer all the amount spent on statues. This is our tentative view.”
The bench also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna posted the matter for a final hearing on April 2.
The court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ravi Kant alleging misuse of crores of tax-payers’ money for installing such statues.
Filed in 2009, the petition had sought the top court’s direction to restrain Mayawati from installing her and party symbol statues in public places at the cost of the state exchequer and demanded a CBI probe into the issue.
The plea alleged hundreds of crores of public money had been spent to “falsely glorify” Mayawati.
The activity was carried out as a state policy, which was arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, it said, adding that the statues of elephant, the party symbol of the BSP, were installed at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places by utilizing state funds.
It also sought that the state government should be directed to remove the statues.