New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to apprise it on whether the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had objected to the release of Rs 100 crore in 2002-03 in connection with the birth centenary celebration of Choudhary Charan Singh to a college run by a society having some top Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders on its Board.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, which had granted time on March 2 to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for filing a response and some documents, asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, to inform it about objections, if any, raised in the past by CAG on the next date of hearing on July 26.
"In case any such objections have been recorded either by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or from any other quarter, a copy of the objections raised, as also the explanation for the same shall be placed on record," it said.
The bench, also comprising Justice R Banumathi, is hearing an appeal filed by Manendra Nath Rai against dismissal of his plea in 2004 by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court challenging grant of funds in tune of around Rs 100 crore to Chaudhary Charan Singh College, Etawah for birth centenary celebration of the former Prime Minister in 2002-03.
The apex court, which had issued notices to parties including the former UP Chief Minister way back in 2005, on Thursday asked the UP administration, represented by senior advocates Harish Salve and Siddharth Luthra, to file an affidavit regarding the claim that buildings, including the hostel, constructed in the college, are "government properties".
The court also asked 'Siksha Prasar Samiti', the society which runs the college, to inform the court about its composition and income tax returns giving details of inflow of funds within four weeks and posted the case for hearing on July 26.
It asked the society, which has Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav in its board, not to spend from its corpus except for meeting some urgent day-to-day needs. The court had on March 2 expressed displeasure over non-filing of responses by some persons including the former Chief Minister in the case in which notices were issued in 2005.
"Respondents No. 4 (Ex-CM) and 5 have not however chosen to do so (respond). A reading of our Order dated September 11, 2008 shows that a prayer for grant of four weeks' time to the said respondents for filing their counter affidavits was accepted. Despite the lapse of nearly eight years ever since, the respondents have not chosen to file any reply to the SLP," it had said.
The plea alleged that the centenary celebrations had taken the form of construction of buildings for a college being run by the society and the expenditure incurred by the state was channelised through UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited.
The court had last month made the society a party to the case and sought "a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Siksha Prasar Samiti as amended up-to-date."
It had also sought information about the composition of the management committee "as it exists today and as it existed over the past 10 years".
"The respondents -- State of UP -- shall also file an additional affidavit indicating whether any audit or other objection has been raised in regard to the manner in which the funds for construction of hostel etc. through UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited have been allocated or spent out of the contingency funds of the state," the court had said.