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Mayawati justifies installation of statues

Last Updated : 20 January 2010, 17:04 IST
Last Updated : 20 January 2010, 17:04 IST

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Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government before a bench of Justices H S Bedi and A K Patnaik said the petition filed by the NGO Gomtinagar Kalyan Sanstha and others were not maintainable as it was within the rights of the government to spend its budgetary allocation.

Submitting some news reports for reference of the bench, Salve said Mayawati was the only leader who had been working for the betterment of the dalits in India.

Apart from providing education, reservation and other economic benefits, the dalits in the country would also have a boost with the erection of such statues of dalit leaders, he said. The Indian Constitution has also favoured the empowerment of dalits in the country, he told the bench to a query on a huge amount of expenditure on dalit memorials in the state.

The judges asked the Mayawati government to reply why the apex court should not intervene when “astronomical and inconscionable” amounts of public money amounting to Rs 26,000 crore being spent on construction of memorials and statues of dalit icons.
The bench wondered whether the judiciary should remain a silent spectator if public money for instance meant for construction of primary schools or hospitals was diverted for erecting such memorials.

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Published 20 January 2010, 16:59 IST

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