The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday issued a fresh notice to Chief Minister Mayawati in connection with the multicrore Taj Heritage Corridor scam. Notice was also ordered to Public Works and Irrigation Minister Nasimuddin Siddique.
A Bench comprising Justices Pradeep Kant and Shabibul Hasan, while admitting a public interest litigation petition, ordered that the case be listed in November.
However, Satish Chandra Mishra, general secretary of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and senior advocate, said the Uttar Pradesh government would move the Supreme Court against this order. In a statement, he said all three writs on this issue filed earlier in the Supreme Court were dismissed. The three included the present petition pending in the High Court. In their petition, Kamlesh Verma, Anupama Singh and Qateel Ahmed challenged the then Governor T.V. Rajeswar’s decision denying the Central Bureau of Investigation sanction to prosecute Ms. Mayawati, as well as the CBI designated court exonerating her and Mr. Siddique.
The High Court on August 12 reserved orders on the maintainability of the petition.
The Taj Corridor scandal dates back to the Mayawati regime of 2002-2003. A probe was conducted by the CBI but it could not proceed further in the case as sanction was not forthcoming to prosecute Ms. Mayawati and Mr. Siddique. However, the CBI’s request was referred to Mr. Rajeswar by the Mulayam Singh government in May 2007, a few days before the counting of votes of the 2007 Assembly elections. The poll gave a mandate to Ms. Mayawati, who returned to power for the fourth time.
She got a reprieve when the Governor rejected the CBI’s plea. He apparently thought that there was not enough evidence against Ms. Mayawati. Mr. Rajeswar’s views were received by the CBI on June 3, 2007 and the Chief Minister announced his decision at a press conference two days later.