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Supreme Court wants Mayawati to return public money used to build statues of her, elephants

PTI     February 8, 2019

A Supreme Court bench said that it is of the tentative view that former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP head Mayawati should deposit the public money utilised for building stautes of her and elephants, her party's symbol, to the exchequer. Several staues of Mayawati and BSP's elephants were erected in parks around Lucknow and Noida during her tenure.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi made these remarks on Friday while hearing a petition which contended that public money cannot be used by someone for building their statues and publicising their political party. The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, made it clear the tentative view was expressed by it as the matter would take some time for hearing. The final hearing in the matter will happen on April 2.

"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," the chief justice bench said.

The petition on the issue was filed by advocate Ravi Kant in 2009 and on Friday the matter came after quite a long time.

Earlier, the apex court had passed various interim orders and directions in which the issue of environmental concern was also raised. Further, there was also a direction to the Election Commission that during the election the elephants built in the park have to be covered.

The petitioner has alleged that crores of rupees was used from the state budget for 2008-09 to glorify Mayawati who was then the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

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