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The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Uttar Pradesh government for suspending IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal for allegedly ordering the demolition of an unauthorized part of a mosque on a public place.

Nagpal was suspended last month ostensibly over the razing the wall of a mosque in Gautam Budh Nagar, an action the state government said could have triggered communal tensions. She was placed under suspension July 27 and issued a charge-sheet Aug 4.

An apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya, while dismissing the public interest litigation, asked how the state government’s action amounted to contempt of court. “How does it amount to contempt?”

The court said if the state government had issued the orders putting curbs on removing illegal structures from public places then per se, then it would have amounted to contempt of court.

Asking the petitioner advocate to go step by step and not by emotions, Justice Dattu recounting the sequence said that IAS officer was suspended and then charge-sheeted.

She can in her reply say that “my action is in pursuant to the directions of the apex court”.

Petitioner ML Sharma, an advocate, argued that the action of the state government amounted to contempt as it violated the Sep 29, 2009 order of the apex court.

The court that day directed collectors and officers in all states that no unauthorised construction shall be permitted in the name of temple, church, mosque or gurdwara on streets, parks or other public places.

(Source: IANS)

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