The Supreme Court on Friday said that prima facie BSP leader Mayawati has to pay back all the public money spent on her statue and elephants while hearing a plea seeking direction to restrain her from spending public money on building statues. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the SC would hear the plea questioning the expenditure on the elephant status on April 2.
"This is our tentative view. Mayawati should reimburse the public exchequer all the amounts spent for these elephants. Supreme Court fixes April 2 for the final hearing of PIL questioning the money spent on the elephant statues in the Noida," said the Supreme Court bench comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna led by CJI.
On January 31, ED raided 6 places in connection with misuse of money for the construction of idols created between 2007 and 2011 in Uttar Pradesh. The raids were conducted in connection with Mayawati statue case.
On the basis of case registered by UP State vigilance department under section 120 B of IPC r/w 409 IPC and Section 13 (1) (d) read with section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, ED had registered a case under Prevention of Money Laundering act as it resulted in a loss of Rs 111,44,35,066 to Government exchequer and unlawful gain to public servants and private individuals.
A large number of statues depicting BSP supremo Mayawati, her mentor Kanshi Ram, and the party's elephant symbol, had come under the scanner. In Noida, the Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden were constructed on 33 acres of land. Estimates suggest that each statue of Kanshi Ram and Mayawati cost Rs 6.65 crores. Each elephant statue costs more than Rs 70 lakh.
Earlier, the economic offences wing of the state's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) attempted to figure out who benefited from the alleged swindle. 130 statues of huge elephants, were placed in parks in Noida and Lucknow during Mayawati's tenure. Her party's symbol is the elephant.
(With agency inputs)