The Allahabad High Court on Friday asked the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to submit detailed affidavit on the status of illegal mining in the state and also the measures that suspended Greater Noida sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Durga Shakti Nagpal had taken to curb the menace.
The court, however, did not stay Nagpal’s suspension and said that the affected person should approach the court herself in service matters.
The Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh expressed concern over rampant illegal sand mining in the state during the hearing of a PIL filed by social activist Nutan Thakur. The case would be heard next on August 19.
Thakur filed the PIL on July 30 against the suspension of Nagpal and sought direction to the department of personnel and training (DoPT) to furnish to court the file related to the suspension of Nagpal. It further asked the court to cancel the suspension if it was found to be illegal.
The bench declined to pass any order on the officer’s suspension, saying that it was a matter “between master and servant”. The court, however, said that if Nagpal thinks her suspension is illegal, she is welcome to approach the court in person.
The bench sought detailed reports from the state and the Centre on how they have been tackling illegal river bed mining after Nagpal was suspended. The report should have in detail the number of FIRs lodged, number of dumpers and tractors seized after the IAS officer’s suspension.
Nagpal was suspended on July 28, a day after she ordered demolition of a portion of a wall of an under-construction mosque in Kadilpur village in Dankaur block of Gautam Buddha Nagar.
The Uttar Pradesh government claims that it suspended Nagpal because it was an “administrative compulsion to ease communal tension”. However, residents of the village where chief minister Akhilesh Yadav feared trouble, said that the SDM was suspended because she was not allowing Samajwadi Party (SP) bigwigs to run their mining business.