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Maya govt accused of defying court

The Uttar Pradesh government was on Wednesday accused of defying the Supreme Court by continuing work at Dalit leaders' memorial sites in Lucknow.

delhi Updated: Sep 30, 2009 22:16 IST

The Uttar Pradesh government was on Wednesday accused of defying the Supreme Court by continuing work at Dalit leaders' memorial sites in Lucknow.

The accusation was made by Lucknow resident Mithilesh Kumar Singh, whose lawsuit against Dalit memorials has left the Mayawati regime face contempt proceedings for allegedly violating the Supreme Court Sep 8 order stopping all construction work.

In his rejoinder, Singh said "the state government was trying to camouflage its violation of the court's order in the garb of confusion over the order though there was none".

Singh was responding to state Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta's reply to the apex court's notice as to why the contempt of court proceedings should not be launched against the Mayawati government.

Admitting the possibility of the Uttar Pradesh government transgressing the Sep 8 order by not stopping construction at various memorial sites, Gupta had blamed it on "confusion" that arose out of the court's order.

Gupta stated this in his reply to the court's notice September 17.

He asserted that it was not clear at which sites the construction had been stayed and at which construction was allowed to go on.

Refuting Gupta's assertion, Singh said there was no confusion in the court's order and if there was any confusion, it was the government's duty to get this clarified rather than violating the court order.

"In the garb of so-called confusion, though there was none, the state functionaries carried on the constructions at sites although they were restrained to do so by this court," said Singh.

He also asserted that "to mislead this court and to create confusion, the state of Uttar Pradesh through its chief secretary, has split one composite site into different projects and coined new names for them in an attempt to show that the projects with newly coined names are not covered under any lawsuit and on that basis they continued constructions at those sites".

"For example, Bhagidari Bhawan, Library and Police Chowki are all parts of Ambedkar Sthal at Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. Also known as Ambedkar Park, a complex within which all three sites are located, the construction activity was admittedly not stopped under the pretext that the above three sites were individually not under the ambit of any lawsuit, despite the same being within the Ambedkar Park, whose development as a memorial site was very much challenged," said Singh.

The Supreme Court too, on Sep 18, expressed dissatisfaction over the Uttar Pradesh government's explanation of the alleged violation of the Sep 8 court order.

"We are not satisfied with your affidavit," a bench of judges B N Agrawal and Aftab Alam had said after perusing Gupta's reply to the court.