‘Mayawati Govt "misled", "confused" SC on statues row’

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 21:58

New Delhi: The Mayawati government in
Uttar Pradesh "misled" and "confused" the Supreme Court and
filed a "false" affidavit denying further construction
activities at the memorials for BSP founder Kanshiram and
other Dalit leaders, a fresh counter-affidavit stated on Wednesday.

In the counter-affidavit, Mithilesh Kumar, one of the
petitioners on whose petition the construction was stayed by
the apex court on Sepember 8, charged that the recent
affidavit filed by the state government had deliberately
coined new names for some of the structures to claim that they
were not the subject matter of writ petitions in the Allahabad
High Court.

The apex court had earlier termed "unsatisfactory" the
UP government`s affidavit which, while denying any fresh
constructions, also offered "most profuse apology for any
transgression."

"To mislead this hon`ble court and to create
confusion, the state 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 the writ petitions and on
that basis continue construction at the disputed sites in the
teeth of restrain orders," the counter-affidavit stated.

According to it, Bhagidari Bhawan, Library, Police
Chowki, are all part of the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Sthal on which
the apex court had stayed all further construction activiites.

It was, however, alleged the state government went ahead
with the construction, inviting the wrath of a bench
comprising Justices B N Aggrawal and Aftab Alam.

The apex court had on September 11 taken strong
exception to the UP government allegedly continuing with the
construction at the memorials despite giving an undertaking to
it on September 8 not to do so.

On September 11, the Mayawati government had filed an
affidavit denying media reports and allegations of the
petitioners that construction activities were in full swing
despite the undertaking.

Further, the counter-affidavit submitted that the UP
government had wrongly said the Samajik Parivartan
Sangrahalaya, Pratimb Sthal and Drihya Sthal are not subject
matters of the litigation.

According to the petitioner, the state government had
wilfully and deliberately flouted the undertaking given to the
apex court on September 8 and subsequently on September 11 and
was continuing with the construction activities by coining new
names to existing structures.

"The state of UP`s functionaries and those connected
with the construction work are guilty of committing wilful
contempt of this hon`ble court and are liable to proceeded
against and severely punished in accordance with law for the
same," the affidavit said.

It also alleged those persons, including media
personnel, going near the site for clicking photos are being
manhandled by musclemen to prevent the truth from coming to
the knowledge of the apex court.

Earlier, the apex court had in a blunt message to the
Mayawati government said it would examine the constitutional
validity of the authorities` decision to spend a whooping Rs
2,600 crore for constructing statues and memorials for
political leaders.

"We have to examine whether you can spend so much of
the public money. Serious questions arise in this petition.
Cabinet and the legislature have to act under the
Constitution", a bench of Justices B N Agrawal and Aftab
Alam had said.

On September 8, the court had recorded an undertaking
by Uttar Pradesh government that there would be no further
construction at the memorials.

However, media reports had said construction
activities were going on in full swing despite the court`s
directive, after which the bench had issued a show cause
notice to the state government.

The state government filed an affidavit denying the
allegations, which failed to satisfy the bench.

The UP government had triggered a controversy by
changing the land use of certain areas adjoining the 35-acre
sprawling Ambedkar Sthal park green belt by demolishing 30-odd
public buildings to construct the memorials.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 21:58

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