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Taj controversy: SC directs CBI to file case against Mayawati
September 18, 2003 12:22 IST
Last Updated: September 22, 2003 14:31 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI to register an FIR against former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati and her then ministerial colleague Nasimuddin Siddiqui for alleged irregularities and malpractices in the Rs 175 crore Taj heritage corridor case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had on September 11 submitted to the Supreme Court the final report of its inquiry into the irregularities committed in the Rs175 crore Taj Heritage Corridor project.
The Supreme Court also directed the CBI to lodge FIRs against former state chief secretary D S Bagga, former Union environment secretary K C Mishra, former state principal environment secretary R K Sharma, former state environment secretary V K Gupta, Mayawati's principal secretary P L Punia and National Project Construction Corporation Managing Director S C Bali.
A bench comprising Justice M B Shah and Justice B N Aggrawal gave this direction "considering the serious irregularities and illegalities committed in the Taj heritage corridor project without any approval from appropriate authorities."
The court also directed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to immediately hold departmental inquiries against Mishra, Sharma, Punia, Gupta and Bagga.
The bench after perusing the report submitted by CBI on its inquiry into the assets of the persons involved in the scam, said, "For holding investigations against the then chief minister Mayawati and then state environment minister Nasimuddin Siddiqui, CBI is directed to lodge a FIR and made further investigations in accordance with the law."
Keeping in view the fact that sanction would be required from the governor before prosecution of Mayawati and Siddiqui, the bench said CBI could take appropriate steps.
The Supreme Court said it would be open to the state government, if called for, to pass orders of suspension against its officials pending departmental inquiry, in accordance with the rules.
The Court also directed the Income Tax department to fully cooperate with the CBI in carrying out further investigations.
"For the aforesaid officers and for the rest of the persons involved in the matter, the CBI is directed to lodge FIR and make further investigations in accordance with the law."
When counsel for the Central Pollution Control Board pointed out that impeding the flow of a river, which was done in this case, was a penal offence, the court directed CBI to take into consideration all environmental laws, the Water, Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974, the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act while carrying on the investigation.
To facilitate speedy departmental inquiry, the court directed the CBI to provide a 'self-contained note'of its investigation done so far to the chief secretary of UP, Cabinet Secretary of the Union government and the Union ministry under which the NPCC functions.
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