In a political victory for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Supreme Court today gave the go ahead for creation of a district carved out of Amethi Lok Sabha Constituency represented by Rahul Gandhi and named after Dalit icon Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj.
The apex court decision came when it quashed the Allahabad High Court's interim order staying the creation of Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar district by renaming Amethi, a pocketborough of the Gandhi-Nehru family and a Congress stronghold.
The issue was decided in favour of the Mayawati government on the ground that an earlier petition challenging its decision was dismissed by the same High Court on August 11.
A bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale said that the High Court bench which passed the interim order on August 18 should have taken into account the order of August 11 of its own bench.
"Judicial propriety demanded that the High Court should have considered the final judgement of August 11. It could not have taken a different stand," the bench said.
Significantly, another division bench of the high court comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra had dismissed a petition on August 11 challenging the creation of the new district.
The Uttar Pradesh government had moved the apex court challenging the August 18 interim order of the Lucknow Bench of the High Court which stayed restoration of the new district till March 31 next year or till further orders.
The state government had appealed against the order which had restrained the operation, implementation and execution of a July 1 notification issued by UP government creating Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar district.
The High Court had on August 18 passed the order on the petition filed by one Manoj Kumar Rastogi and two others seeking quashing of the July 1 notification in view of the specific embargo placed through an earlier notification that no change in the boundaries that impedes ongoing census should take place.
They had also sought a direction for restoring the boundaries of Sultanpur and Rae Bareli districts prior to July 1 notification.
The proposed Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar district had within its boundaries five tehsils of Sultanpur and Rae Bareli districts which form part of Amethi constituency.
UP Chief Minister Mayawati had ordered formation of Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar district on May 21, 2003 but following a change of guard her arch political rival Mulayam Singh Yadav had scrapped it on November 23 the same year.
In December 2003, a lawyer of Amethi, Uma Shankar Pandey, had challenged the order scrapping the formation of the district in the High Court.