Apex court halts Mayawati’s demolition spree

February 27th, 2009 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday stopped the Uttar Pradesh government from demolishing scores of private and government buildings around Lucknow’s sprawling park named after Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar.
A bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi put a halt to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s demolition spree around the Ambedkar Park by suspending an apex court’s order of May 1, 2008 issued by another bench.

Friday’s order came on a lawsuit Lucknow resident Mithiliesh Kumar Singh, who had sought suspension of the order last year by an apex court bench of Justice H.K. Sema and Justice Markandey Katju that had given its nod to the demolition spree.

“In gross misuse and abuse of the stay order passed by this court on May 1 last year, the state government is demolishing prestigious buildings around the park and converting the green lungs of the city into concrete jungle with renewed vigour,” said the petitioner, demanding recall of the apex court’s previous order.

“The activities of the state government in the name of development are in fact anti-public interest,” said the petitioner.

The petitioner had come to the court opposing the government’s plan to undertake development activities in Lucknow by razing old and dilapidated buildings.

The Allahabad High Court had earlier prevented the Mayawati government from demolishing several buildings, including those belonging to the government, around Ambedkar Park. But the state government had been able to get the high court’s order suspended last year from the apex court. It was this order that the apex court suspended Friday.

Ambedkar, who played a key role in drafting the Indian constitution, is an icon for Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party that espouses the cause of Dalits.

-Indo-Asian News Service

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