SC refuses to entertain PIL for reinstatement of Durga Nagpal

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NAGPALNew Delhi, August 16;The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking reinstatement of suspended IAS officer Durga Sakhti Nagpal, who had cracked down on illegal sand mining in Uttar Pradesh.

Questioning the locus of a lawyer, who filed a PIL, a bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu dismissed the plea and said that it may entertain the petition if she (Nagpal) herself approaches the court.

The bench further said that the officer can take care of herself and can also approach the other authorities including a court, against her suspension order.

“The moment she approaches the court, we will hear her plea and we may pass an interim order,” the bench said.

The court dismissed the petition filed by advocate M L Sharma, who had sought quashing of all the proceedings against Ms. Nagpal for allegedly demolishing of wall of a mosque.

The petitioner had submitted that Ms. Nagpal is suffering hardship for following Supreme Court’s order on preventing unauthorised construction of religious buildings on public land and the apex court should protect her.

Contending that the action taken against Ms. Nagpal was arbitrary, unconstitutional and malafide, the PIL had sought quashing of all proceedings against the 2010 batch IAS officer who had clamped down on the mining mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar area of UP.

The PIL had said suspending Ms. Nagpal was “unconstitutional, arbitrary and lowered the constitutional system” and “the absence of support from top bureaucracy, in both Uttar Pradesh and in New Delhi, is shameful”.

The 28-year-old Sub-Divisional Magistrate was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering the demolition of the wall of an under-construction mosque in a village in Noida without following the due process.

The petition had sought judicial review of the suspension order and said, “Nagpal’s victimisation is a new low in a long process of the subversion of bureaucracy”.

The Uttar Pradesh government had on August 4 served a charge sheet on the officer, asking her to submit an explanation for her conduct.

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