SIGNALLING TROUBLE for BSP chief Mayawati, the Supreme Court on Friday said it was primarily of the view that she should return the public funds spent on erecting statues of herself and elephants — her party’s symbol — in Uttar Pradesh.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, was hearing a 2009 petition filed by a group of lawyers against what they alleged was “collusion of the respondents, especially the UP government, CM, UP and ruling BSP to falsely glorify the incumbent CM and to meet her fanciful whims of putting up statues of her by misusing public money and land”.
The petition said “the said activity is being carried out as a state policy, which is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution”. It also challenged “the installation of 60 elephant statues of Rs 52.20 crore, which is the election symbol of BSP, at public places by utilising state funds”. The matter will be heard next on April 2.