Court faces scrutiny demand on governor’s order favouring Mayawati


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday heard four petitions demanding scrutiny of Uttar Pradesh Governor T.V. Rajeshwar’s order refusing approval to prosecute state Chief Minister Mayawati for her alleged role in the Rs.1.75 billion Taj Heritage corridor scam.

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While two petitions came up before the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, two others cropped up for hearing before the apex court’s special environment bench.

It was this bench which had initiated a probe into the Taj corridor scam while examining the environmental degradation of the Taj and the Yamuna river due to the corridor project.

Even as the bench headed by the chief justice dismissed the petitions seeking the apex court’s scrutiny of the governor’s order on the grounds of petitioners’ stake in the case, the environment bench kept the two other petitions pending before it to examine them if it has the jurisdiction to decide on it.

The three-judge Special Environment Bench headed by Justice S.B. Sinha while emphasising that it was concerned with environmental issues, said: “We are aware of the gravity of the matter but we need time to contemplate whether it can be heard before this bench or not.”

The two petitioners were advocates Ajay Aggarwal and Krishan Mahajan, who has been assisting the bench as an amicus curiae.

Appearing for advocate Ajay Aggarwal, senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi argued that the governor’s order favouring Mayawati was wrong and the bench needed to continue monitoring the case.

But not convinced by Tulsi’s argument, the bench comprising Justices S.B. Sinha, D.K. Jain and S.H. Kapadia, said it was concerned with the restoration of the Taj and its environment.

“Our monitoring of the case is upto the time the charge sheet was filed. We have already handed over the matter to the magistrate for further examination,” said the bench.

The bench, however, decided to take a final call on the issue after hearing amicus curiae Krishan Mahajan at a later date.

The bench asked Tulsi to hand over all the documents to advocate Mahajan when he pressed for the hearing of his application.

“We would not entertain Agrawal’s petition so you hand over all the papers to the amicus,” the bench said.

The application moved by Aggarwal had contended that governor’s order was based on conjectures and surmises in an attempt to “exonerate” Mayawati and her cabinet colleague Naseemuddin Siddiqui.