The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the Uttar Pradesh government to take up some minor maintenance work at the memorial sites to various Dalit leaders in Lucknow, where all further construction and masonry work had been halted by the court last September.
A bench of Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice A.K. Patnaik allowed Mayawati government to take up work such as removal of construction material and debris, planting grass and trees and mending leaking water pipes, while forbidding it to carry out any masonry work at the sites.
Earlier, the bench had asked the state’s acting Chief Secretary V.K. Sharma to apprise it through an affidavit of the various works that the government wanted to undertake at various memorial sites.
Sharma, in his affidavit filed last month, had sought permission for some masonry work as well, but the court refused.
“We have perused the list of the work that needs to be done at different project sites,” said the bench adding that it “however, is not inclined to permit state governments to carry out all the works mentioned in the list.”
While allowing minor maintenance jobs, the bench transferred all the lawsuits opposing and supporting construction of the various memorials in Lucknow to the Allahabad High Court and asked it to reconstitute a special bench to resolve the issue preferably within four months.
The bench also absolved Uttar Pradesh’s former chief secretary Atul Kumar Gupta of the charges of contempt of court by allegedly allowing continuation of the construction work at various memorial sites, which had been halted by a bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal Sep 8.