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HC stays razing of Ambedkar Sports complex

The Allahabad HC has stayed the UP government's decision to raze the Ambedkar Sports complex in the state capital to make way for construction of the Kanshi Ram memorial, reports Sharad Deep.
Hindustan Times | By Sharad Deep, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2007 05:58 PM IST

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday restrained Mayawati Government from overtaking the Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar State Sports Complex (Gomti Nagar Stadium) or changing its status in any way till July 18.

The bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice DP Singh passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Om Prakash Yadav of Gomti Nagar, challenging the government’s move to acquire the stadium for the extension of Ambedkar Memorial, a dream project of CM Mayawati.

While senior advocate Prashant Chandra appeared on behalf of the petitioner, presenting the government’s view advocate general Jaideep Mathur said that the acquisition of the stadium was necessitated in view of the perceived threat perception to the Ambedkar Memorial, which is just located at the adjacent to the stadium.

Urban Development Secretary Govindan Nayar, Lucknow’s SSP BP Jogdand, LDA vice-chairman Harbhajan Singh and Sports Secretary, who were asked to appear in person in the matter, were present during the hearing.

The court has given three days time to the State Government to file its counter and same period to the petitioner to file the rejoinder while listing the matter for hearing for July 19.

In the meantime, the State Government has been directed to maintain a status quo at the site and restore possession of the staff quarters back to employees of the Sports Directorate, who were evicted last night on a four-hour notice.

During the course of the argument the petitioner council drew the attention of the court that the orders by it in the PIL last night (3.15 a.m. on Tuesday) were yet to be complied with by the authorities. The court had directed the authorities not to interfere in the day-to-day activities till the next hearing in the matter.

The government move had generated heat Monday night when following CM’s directives the sports directorate authorities asked its employees and coaches to vacate the hostel premises inside the stadium immediately.

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