The Hush Post| 01:46 pm| 2-min-read
The Supreme Court said on Friday that Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has to reimburse the public money spent on installing elephant statues. However, the court made it clear the tentative view was expressed by it as the matter will take some time for hearing.
Many elephant statues, her party’s election symbol, were constructed in parks in Lucknow and Noida during her tenure as UP chief minister.
The top court was hearing a petition that said public money cannot be used for creating one’s own statues and for propagating a political party.
“We are of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit the public money spent on her statues and party symbol to the state exchequer,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
“Pay all the money from your pocket,” the Chief Justice said.
The Bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, will hear the case next on April 2.
The BSP asked if the case can be heard in May, after the election. “Please don’t compel us to say something which we don’t want,” the Chief Justice said.
Earlier court intervention
Earlier in 2012, the Election Commission had ordered covering of all Mayawati and elephant statues before the assembly elections in the state in order to provide a level-playing field for all parties.
The Bahujan Samaj Party had told the Supreme Court in 2014 that the full expenditure on the statues was based on the budget passed by the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
The petition was filed in 2009 by two advocates, Ravikant and Sukumar. They had argued that Mayawati government – which was in power in Uttar Pradesh then – had spent crores of rupees on statues. It was irresponsible for a state that had a large number of people living below the poverty line, they had contended.