Supreme Court issues contempt of court notice to UP Chief Secretary

     The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a contempt of court notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta for flagrant violation of its direction to stop construction activities on statues and memorials in Lucknow. "Having heard the counsel for the parties perusing the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh and others and having given anxious considerations to all of them, a strong prima facie case is made out for initiating contempt proceeding," said a bench comprising Justices BN Agrawal and Aftab Alam. "Issue notice to Chief Secretary to showcause why proceedings of contempt be not proceeded (with) and (the guilty) punished for flagrant violation of the orders of this court," the bench said. The apex court directed Gupta to be present in court on November 4. On Monday, the apex court took a serious note of the construction work being carried out at Ambedkar Park despite the court's directive to halt erection of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's statues at various parks in the state. Amit Bhandari, the petitioner who challenged the erection of statues by Mayawati with the state funds, said that State Government was rebuked for flouting the court's order. As per the information by the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), the State Government has spent Rs. 34.9 million on installing eight statues of Mayawati at five memorials being constructed in Lucknow . The Government has also spent another Rs. 33.7 million to install seven statues of Kanshi Ram. There are 60 statues of elephants, the election symbol of the BSP, erected in these memorials, all at a cost of Rs. 522 million. Each of these statues, together with their granite-covered pedestals, costs Rs. 8.7 million.

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