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We are willing for confrontation, SC tells Maya Govt

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 00:42

New Delhi: Castigating the Mayawati
government for "flagrant" violation of its orders to stop work
on memorials in Lucknow, the Supreme Court today said it was
ready for a confrontation if the state wanted it and initiated
contempt action against the Chief Secretary.

A bench of Justices B N Agrawal and Aftab Alam also
orally warned the State that it would be constrained to direct
deployment of the Central para military forces at the site if
the government persisted with such defiance.

"It appears you want to play hide and seek. If you
want confrontation let`s have a confrontation. The way you are
behaving, is it a democratic government?" the bench asked
senior counsel Harish Salve and S C Mishra appearing for the

Making its September 11 interim orders restraining the
State from further construction activities at the memorials,
"absolute," the apex court said the State seemed to be
"desperate" in going ahead with the Rs.2,600 crore project.

"You were desperate. It shows your desperation not to
allow the court to adjudicate the matter," the bench observed.
It said, "We have come to the conclusion that there is
a flagrant violation of our orders. If you still violate our
orders, the ball will be in the hands of the central
government" to deploy forces, the apex court observed.

"We can send the Chief Secretary to the jail if
repeatedly our orders are violated. What do we do. Can we send
him to jail," the apex court queried senior counsel Abhishekh
Manu Singhvi, who appearing for the petitioner Mithiliesh
Kumar, had alleged that the State was repeatedly violating its

The apex court today reiterated its earlier stand that
it would examine the constitutional validity of the
Government`s decision to spend the staggering amount for
constructing the memorials of BSP icon Kanshiram and other
Dalit leaders on a 105-acre green belt area in the heart
of the state capital.

"One of the important question is how much money you
can spend for this. Can you spend 50 per cent of the
money(State`s budget)," the bench asked the State.

The court issued notice to Chief Secretary Atul Kumar
Gupta to showcause why contempt action should not be taken
against him for violation of the court order and asked him to
personally appear in court on November four.

The contempt proceedings have been initiated on the
ground that the September 8 undertaking given by the Chief
Secretary and September 11 order of the apex court on
stoppage of construction activities at the sites have been

The court had yesterday rebuked the state government
asking it not to play politics with the court and said
instructions from the "highest level" seems to have come to
defy its orders.

In their petition, Mithilesh Kumar Singh and some NGOs
challenged the validity of the Mayawati government`s decision
to go ahead with the memorials.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 00:42
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