Contempt proceedings filed in Sahara city demolition case

June 24th, 2008 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The row over the demolition of Sahara Group’s housing complex in Lucknow took a curious turn Tuesday with both the Uttar Pradesh government and Sahara moving the Supreme Court, seeking contempt proceedings against each other for allegedly violating the court’s order for status quo. The Sahara Group sought contempt proceedings, saying the Uttar Pradesh government had demolished certain structures at Gomati Nagar in Lucknow Monday evening despite the apex court’s order to maintain status quo and not to carry out any demolition.

The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) too moved the apex court, accusing the business house of erecting a tin fencing around its commercial property in the Sahara township in violation of the court’s Monday order.

As counsel for both parties raised the matter before a bench headed by Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice G.S. Singhvi, the bench asked them to file proper applications. It decided to hear the matter Wednesday.

Uttar Pradesh government counsel Shail Chaturvedi told the apex court that the government Tuesday had pulled down some temporary structure and barricades and had filed an FIR against the Sahara Group officials as these were erected after the apex court’s order of status quo.

Sahara Group counsel Mukul Rohtagi, on the other hand, accused the state government of taking coercive action and demolishing the structure in breach of the apex court’s order.

He said the temporary structures were erected when the Allahabad High Court order was in force. The Lucknow bench of the high court last week pulled up the state government for the demolitions and asked the government to restore the land to the business house.

The LDA had approached the apex court against the high court order. The Supreme Court ordered both parties to maintain status quo on the property, preventing them from erecting any new structure or demolishing existing ones.

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