SC extends stay on construction of memorial in Lucknow

SC extends stay on construction of memorial in Lucknow

"The affidavit (of the UP Government) is not satisfactory," a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and Aftab Alam observed. The apex court listed the matter for further hearing on October 5 and asked the parties to file their responses to the affidavit by September 29.

The UP government had on yesterday tendered its apology to the court for any construction activity at various proposed memorial structures in Lucknow after the stay order of the bench.

In a detailed affidavit filed in response to the show cause notice issued on September 11, the state claimed it had the highest regard for the apex court and that it believed in carrying out its directions in "letter and spirit."

On September 8, the court had recorded an undertaking by the state that there would be no further construction activities at the memorials which have cost the exchequer Rs 2,600 crore.

However, media reports said construction activities were going on in full swing despite the court's directive, following which the bench had issued a show cause notice.

The state government had submitted that the photographs published in newspapers and telecast by the electronic media were erroneous and asserted that no construction activity was undertaken in any of the properties which were the subject matter of disputes before the Allahabad High Court.

The court had rapped the state government on September 8 for spending Rs 2,600 crore on memorials for Kanshi Ram and other dalit leaders in Lucknow.

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.