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SC issues contempt of court notices to UCS and 23 senior officers

Written by: Staff
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New delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) The Supreme Court has issued contempt of court notices to 23 senior officers of Uttar Pradesh and Union Commerce Secretary for not handing over the possession of properties belonging to the former ruler of Mahmudabad, Uttar Pradesh, despite court orders.

A bench, comprising Mr Justice Ashok Bhan and Mr Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta, on Friday directed the alleged comtemners, who include Union Commerce Secretary S N Menon, four district magistrates, two SPs and seven SDMs of Uttar Pradesh to file their replies within six weeks.

The Supreme Court had dismissed the Central Government's petition with a cost of Rs five lakh in October 2005 and had directed the Centre and the UP government to hand over the properties, belonging to the former ruler of Mahmudabad, within eight weeks and also said if the possession of the property was not handed over it would be treated as contempt of the court.

The contemner include DM Lucknow R N Tripathi, DM Sitapur Rakesh Kumar Goel, DM Lakhimpur Kheri Dr S P Tripathi, DM Barabanki Ramashankar Sahu, SP Sitapur Deva Sherpa, SP Lakhimpur Kheri Zaki Ahmed. Some of the officials are having their residences and offices in the property, which is in illegal possession of the state of UP for the last 32 years.

The petitioners, Amir Mohammad Khan, son of the ex-ruler of Mahmudabad, had in his contempt petition alleged that the Central Government as well as Uttar Pradesh Government have not complied with the court orders and have not handed over the possession of the properties, which belonged to his family.

The properties in question were acquired by the state under the Enemy Property Act. The properties of the petitioner are situated in Lucknow, Lakhimpur Kheri, Barabanki and also in the state of Uttaranchal. It may be noted that the Butler Palace of Lucknow is also located in the petitioners' property.

The matter shall come up for hearing in July after summer vacation.

UNI AKS/SC RP KP1510

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