Supreme Court agrees to hear contempt petition against UP CM Akhilesh Yadav for suspending Durga Shakti Nagpal
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Supreme Court agrees to hear contempt petition against UP CM Akhilesh Yadav for suspending Durga Shakti Nagpal

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a contempt petition filed by Advocate ML Sharma demanding the initiation of contempt proceedings against Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Akhilesh Yadav and others for interfering with the actions of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal.

ML Sharma had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated against Nagpal which was dismissed by the Supreme Court for want of locus.

In his contempt petition, Sharma has contended that the Supreme Court in Union of India v. State of Gujarat [SLP(c) no. 8519/2006] had prohibited unauthorized  construction “in the name of Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurudwara etc.” in public spaces. The Supreme Court had also directed all States and Union Territories to take necessary steps to prevent such unauthorized construction.

Sharma has alleged that the suspension of Nagpal on the ground that she ordered the demolition of a mosque wall that was being constructed on gram sabha land,

“is a serious criminal contempt of court and it is [the] submission of the petitioner that responsible persons, i.e. Chief Secretary & Chief Minister of the State of U.P., are  prima facie liable  to be prosecuted for criminal contempt of court as they did the contempt act and repeatedly confirm[ed]/justified their actions as correct and valid.”

Based on the above, he has prayed for initiation of contempt proceedings against the UP government, CM Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Secretary Javed Usmani and Working Chief Secretary Aalok Ranjan and a judicial review of the orders passed against Nagpal.

After Sharma mentioned the matter yesterday, a Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam agreed to hear the matter on August 26.

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