The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a contempt plea against the Uttar Pradesh government for suspending IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal for implementing its order to remove unauthorised religious structures on public land.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathsivam posted petitioner advocate ML Sharma's contempt petition for a hearing on August 26. This is Sharma's second attempt to draw the apex court's attention to Nagpal's suspension. Earlier, he had moved a petition, asking for her reinstatement.
In his fresh petition, Sharma said the state's action against the 28-year-old suspended bureaucrat was in contempt of the SC order that has banned unauthorised construction of religious buildings on public land. The responsibility to enforce the order was fixed on the officer in-charge of the area, including sub-divisional magistrates (SDM).
According to Sharma, Nagpal was carrying out the court orders when she ordered demolition of the wall of an under-construction mosque in a village in Greater Noida where she was posted as SDM. The UP government, however, suspended her on July 27, claiming Nagpal had not followed the due process while issuing the order.
The UP government came under severe flak for acting against Nagpal. Critics said she was being victimised as she had launched a massive prosecution against those indulging in illegal sand mining from the Yamuna riverbed.
The UP government had on August 4 served a chargesheet on the officer, asking her to submit an explanation for her conduct.