New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati to pay back all the public money spent on erecting her statues and those of elephants – the party symbol – at parks in Lucknow and Noida to the state exchequer.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, was hearing a petition filed by an advocate who had contended that public money cannot be utilised for creating own statues and for propagating the political party. Next hearing in connection with the case is scheduled for April 2.

“We are of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit the public money spent on her statues and party symbol to the state exchequer,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

Making it clear that the tentative view was expressed as the matter will take some time for hearing, the apex court said, “We will have it for final disposal on April 2.”