SC dismisses UP govt petition against Big B

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New Delhi, Mar 31: The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking permission to continue the criminal investigation against Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in the Barabanki land case. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam dismissed the petition of the Mayawati government, challenging Allahabad High Court's judgment holding that no civil, revenue or criminal proceedings ould be initiated against Amitabh Bachchan in relation to the Barabanki land.

Amitabh Bachchan was allotted 12 acres of agricultural land in Barabanki district by the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh on the grounds that Big B was a farmer. The actor had returned the land to the state government when allegations of forgery and fabrication of false evidence were levelled against him. He also gave an undertaking in the High Court that he would not claim any right or title over the Gram Sabha land in question. The High Court dropped all proceedings against Amitabh Bachchan after he withdrew his petition in the court.

Senior counsel K K Venugopal appearing for the UP government contended before the court that nobody was above law and the High Court had no jurisdiction to stop the criminal investigation against the actor.

Amitabh Bachchan was represented by senior counsel Harish Salve. He contended that there were no allegations of forgery or fabrication against Big B.

The apex court was of the view that since the actor had already returned the land and there was no allegation of his personal involvement in any forgery or fabrication of false revenue record, it was not inclined to interfere with the High Court order.

The Supreme Court also said the Uttar Pradesh government could investigate allegations of forgery and fabrication of false record against the officials of the state government department concerned if so desired.

UNI

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