New Delhi: The Supreme Court has quashed the land allotment by the 2004 Uma Bharti government in Madhya Pradesh to a trust run by late Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kushabhau Thakre. The court has also directed the commissioner of town planning to take possession of the 20 acres land and directed the Madhya Pradesh government to refund the paid amount to the trust.
Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Venkaiah Naidu are trustees of the trust.
A Bhopal-based NGO, Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress, had challenged the allotment, saying that the land given to the trust was worth several crores while the trust paid just Rs 25 lakh for it and an annual rent of only Re 1.
The apex court also made several critical observations during the hearing as to how state governments while allotting land exercised this power mostly for the affluent and the politically well-connected.
The then Uma Bharti government had allotted 20 acres to the Kushabhau Thakre Smriti Nyas with the purpose of setting up a training institute on Indian culture.