Lucknow: Giving a major relief to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Monday rejected all six Public Interest Litigations (PIL) seeking to resume the trial against the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister in the Taj corridor case.
According to reports, the Lucknow Bench, while rejecting all six petitions filed in this regard, said that the same were not maintainable as there is no merit in them.
The bench passed its order in response to a PIL challenging the refusal of the former Uttar Pradesh Governor TV Rajeshwar to prosecute the BSP chief and her close aide Naseemuddin Siddiqui in connection with the case and re-starting the trial against the two.
Rajeshwar’s refusal to prosecute Mayawati also forced the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to stop its probe into the Rs 17 crore scam in June 2007.
Reacting to the order, Mayawati’s counsel Satish Chandra Mishra said, “Today the Lucknow bench of the honourable Allahabad High Court rejected all six petitions filed against BSP chief Mayawati and her close aide Naseemuddin Siddiqui in connection with the Taj corridor case as they were not maintainable.”
“The court passed its order purely on merit and it is not based on technical grounds. The court decided that an earlier decision which suspended the case against her remains valid,” he added.
Claiming that today’s decision is a big relief for Mayawati, Mishra said the PILs against her were politically motivated and aimed at defaming the BSP chief.
However, the petitioners have announced to challenge the Allahabad High Court order in the apex court soon.
The lawyers fighting this case have earlier argued that several Supreme Court judgments in the past clearly state that the CBI does not need a sanction from a competent authority to prosecute any public servant.
They claimed that despite legal precedents in 2007, the then Governor of the Uttar Pradesh, TV Rajeshwar, denied the legal permission to try Mayawati.
The Taj corridor project was launched by Mayawati in 2002 to beautify the adjoining areas near the Taj Mahal.
Rs 17 crores were allegedly released and the construction work began without the necessary environmental clearances. In 2003, the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to conduct an enquiry into these allegations.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had quashed an FIR into her disproportionate assets case saying the agency had exceeded its brief by looking into Mayawati`s assets while investigating the Taj corridor case.