Stop work at Kanshi memorial: SC to Maya

It is a serious matter. Our orders cannot be violated

Stop work at Kanshi memorial: SC to Maya

 
A bench comprising Justices B N Agarwal and Aftab Alam said: ”Construction, repair and maintenance will stop at all construction sites. All work force, except the watch and ward staff, shall vacate by 7 pm.

“We generally don’t go by newspaper reports. We ignore them. But it is a very serious matter. Our orders cannot be violated.”

While directing the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to file a reply to a show-cause notice for flouting the undertaking given to the court on September 8, the court said: “In view of this (media reports), we have no other option but to record a formal order of injunction.”

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports published in two newspapers and video clippings in one news channel showing violation of its direction to stop work at the memorial site, the apex court called for an urgent hearing during lunch hours.

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh  government, failed to pacify the judges who were furious at the reports that clearly said construction was on in full swing at the memorial despite Uttar Pradesh  advocate Satish Mishra giving an undertaking to stall the work.

Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium said: “Such undertaking should have been scrupulously abided by, and workmen should not have been allowed to the site.”
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, said: “Even we can produce video clippings that the construction was on. The CRPF should be deployed to guard the site so that clandestine construction is not carried out.”

When Salve said they were engaged in maintenance and no construction activities were going on, the court questioned the Uttar Pradesh government, “Why do you allow them to enter (the site)?”

Fixing September 18 for the next date of hearing, the court directed the Times of India, The Hindu and the NDTV to submit the documents and video clippings of the reports published and shown to viewers by September 17. The media reports said work on the Rs 2,600-crore memorial for Kanshi Ram, B R Ambedkar and others in Lucknow was continuing despite the undertaking given on September 8 that construction would be stopped.

Statues at parks

In another related matter, a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government to file its response on a report by a the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which said construction activity for installation of statues of chief minister Mayawati and other Dalit leaders in Noida was done without environmental clearance.

The apex court asked the state government to file its reply on the issue of construction in a Noida park by October 9.

The forest bench directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a counter-affidavit to the report of the CEC. However, the court did not stop the construction at Noida park on the banks of the Yamuna.

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