New Delhi(PTI): In an embarrassment to the BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court today quashed the decision of the state authorities to allot at a throwaway price land to a trust named after late party leader Kushabhau Thakre.
The court cancelled the state government notification for alloting around 30 acres of land to the Trust whose trustees include senior party leaders L K Advani, M Venkaiah Naidu and Murli Manohar Joshi.
A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly directed the authority concerned to take possession of the land which was allotted on September 25, 2004 by the then Madhya Pradesh government headed by Uma Bharti.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress, a consumers’ society registered in MP, challenging the government’s decision on the ground that the land at Basvadiya village was given at a throwaway price to the Trust in violation of laws.
Reacting to the order, the Congress accused the BJP of being hypocritical on the issue of alleged corruption. “While they (The BJP) have tom-tommed the issue of alleged corruption, they have failed to act, whether it is in Karnataka, whether it is in Madhya Pradesh where Rs 60 crore of land was given for Rupee one to a Trust which was an RSS affiliate,” Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said.
“So, if the Supreme Court has quashed the allotment of land, we welcome the order and I do hope the BJP will now introspect on its hypocrisy,” he said.
The consumers’ society had approached the apex court after the MP High Court had refused to quash the land allotment. The apex court had reserved its order on January 19 after hearing extensively the arguments of the consumers’ society and the state government.
Defending its decision on the allotment issue, the state government had contended that there was nothing wrong in alloting the land to a trust named after political leaders as the Centre and many other states have given huge chunks of land to several trusts in the name of prominent political figures in the past.
The state government had argued that if uniform parameters were to be applied for all trusts created in the name of the political leaders, then all such allotments made by the Union government were open to scrutiny of the top court.