Uttar Pradesh official suspended for Dalit remarks moves apex court

July 16th, 2009 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) A senior Uttar Pradesh official Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the state government’s decision to suspend him for anti-Dalit remarks he had made in his book published in 2006.
Then special secretary Laxmi Kant Shukla was suspended in February 2008 for making unsavoury observations against Dalit icons like Jyotibha Phule, Bhimrao Ambedkar and Chief Minister Mayawati in his book “Jaatiraj” (the rule of caste).

The Allahabad High Court had in May this year given no relief to Shukla.

On the lawsuit by Shukla, a Supreme Court bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and B.S. Reddy issued notices to the state government seeking its reply within four weeks.

In his self-published book about the caste system, Shukla had also made certain remarks about Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj and Ramaswamy Periyar.

While condemning caste-based politics in the country, Shukla had written: “Mayawati dalit ki nahi, daulat ki beti hain. (Mayawati is not a Dalit’s daughter but a daughter of wealth).”

Shukla claimed that he had sought permission from the then state government headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav before publishing the book. But Mayawati, who assumed power in May 2007, said the government officer had not taken any permission to author the book.

The Mayawati government scrutinised the contents of the book and termed its several portions as “vicious” and its one chapter “Badle Ki Aag” in particular as “venomous”.

The chief minister said Shukla had violated the Uttar Pradesh Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1956, and was prima facie guilty of writing a potentially lethal book, vitiating social harmony.

Shukla, in turn, moved the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which gave a favourable interim order to him earlier. It barred the state government from taking any final decision on penalizing the officer without taking permission of the court.

The state government, in turn, moved the apex court against the high court order. The apex court referred the matter back to the high court, which, in turn, dismissed Shukla’s petition, prompting him to to rush to the supreme court.

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