Mayawati gets another jolt from court


Lucknow : The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Saturday gave yet another jolt to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati as it stayed the construction of a boundary wall around the site of a memorial to her mentor, late Kanshi Ram.

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The court order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by lawyer Sangam Lal Pandey. It relates to the site of the recently demolished Lucknow district jail, where a 70-acre garden is proposed to be laid in the name of the founder of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Pleading for urgency, Pandey urged Justice Pradeep Kant to hear his petition on Saturday, a non-working day. Responding to his plea, Justice Kant held a special court at his residence along with Justice R.R. Tripathi.

Pandey’s main argument rested on the administration’s bid to extend the boundary wall to a major part of the road running all along. “The place where the boundary wall was being raised would encroach more than half of the road that would get narrowed from the existing 60-foot to barely 15-foot,” Pandey pointed out.

His petition said, “if the wall was built where it was being attempted, it would seriously affect the movement and commuting of thousands of residents of more than half a dozen localities for whom the road was the only thoroughfare.”

He also drew the court’s attention to the chopping of full grown trees that would be imminent in case the boundary was allowed at the proposed alignment. “The wall will disable a sewage and storm-water drain that caters to number of localities in the vicinity,” he added.

The state government’s chief standing counsel Devendra Upadhaya was however of the view that the wall was being built on the land for which the Supreme Court had cleared all the decks and allowed the state to lay an eco garden-cum-park.

While directing the state government to suspend the construction work with immediate effect, the bench ordered personal appearance of several senior officials Sep 22, when the next hearing will take place.

Pandey had initially moved his petition before the Supreme Court Sep 17, when he was told to seek remedy before the high court.