The Supreme Court on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh and said the matter relating to construction of memorials required a detailed examination.
A Bench consisting of Justices B.N. Agrawal and Aftab Alam was hearing petitions questioning the spending of huge amounts by the Mayawati government on construction of memorials and statues.
In his affidavit filed on Thursday, the Chief Secretary denied that the government violated the undertaking given to the court on September 8.
Justice Alam told senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the State, “I am not satisfied with the affidavit.” Mr. Rohatgi said “our reply is complete.” Justice Agrawal said: “It is not a matter that can be dropped on filing this affidavit. Very serious question arises. It requires further consideration.”
When Mr. Rohatgi submitted that the legislature had validly sanctioned the expenditure, Justice Agrawal said: “The question here has many thorny issues. It is not as simple as you say. The question is whether the State could spend so much of money from the public exchequer for this purpose.”
“Suppose today the legislature decides that 80 per cent of the budgetary allocation should be spent on such works of memorials and statues, is it not justifiable,” Justice Agrawal asked. “The Cabinet and the legislature have to act within the framework of the Constitution.”
Grants time to media
The Bench granted The Hindu, The Times of India and NDTV time till September 29 to file replies to the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary and a rejoinder, if any, by October 3. The matter is listed for October 5.