6 Oct : The Supreme Court has directed initiation of contempt proceedings against the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh for “flagrant” violation of its orders on stoppage of work at the construction sites for the statues and memorials in Lucknow.
“Having heard the counsel for the parties perusing the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh and others and having given anxious considerations to all of them, a strong prima facie case is made out for initiating contempt proceeding,” a bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and Aftab Alam said on Tuesday.
“Issue notice to Chief Secretary to showcause why proceedings of contempt be not proceeded (with) and (the guilty) punished for flagrant violation of the orders of this court,” the bench said.
The court asked the Chief Secretary to appear in person on November 4 when the contempt proceeding will be taken up.
The bench directed the apex court registry to register the contempt petition in the matter.
It asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to appear in the matter and assist it as an amicus curaie.
The apex court initiated the contempt proceedings for the violation of the 8th September undertaking given by the Chief Secretary and 11th September order of the apex court on stoppage of construction activities at the various sites in Lucknow.
The apex court while making its 11th September interim order on stoppage of construction “absolute” also indicated that it would direct deployment of central forces if state continue to violate its orders.
“We have come to the conclusion that there is a flagrant violation of our orders. If you still violate the ball will be in the hands of the central government,” the apex court observed.
The apex court made the observation in the context of sustained pleas made by the petitioner Mithilesh Kumar that central paramilitary forces like CRPF or CISF should be deployed at the sites as the local police could not act in an impartial manner.
At one stage, the court also asked the senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, as to whether it should send the Chief Secretary to the jail.
“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.
Later, the Bench passed an order that its 11th September interim order restraining further constructions was absolute.