Breather for Mayawati government which named the district after Dalit leader

The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh got a breather on Wednesday with the Supreme Court setting aside the Allahabad High Court's interim order staying the notification of the creation of a district, named after Dalit leader Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj.

The district has been carved out of the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency represented by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Entertaining an appeal filed by the government against the August 18 order of the High Court, a Bench consisting of Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L Gokhale quashed the order without going into merits and asked the High Court to hear afresh the plea for interim relief taking into consideration an order passed by another Division Bench dismissing a similar petition.

Senior counsel P.P. Rao and Harish Salve for the State government submitted that the impugned order was passed despite the fact that another Division Bench had dismissed a similar petition. Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam for the Registrar-General (Census) submitted that bifurcation would affect census enumeration and this fact had been taken into consideration when the interim order was passed.

Judicial propriety

The judges said the August 12 interim order ignoring or overlooking the order passed by another Division Bench could not be sustained. The Supreme Court Bench said it might not be necessary to enter into the controversy whether the order was brought before the other Bench or not, but the fact remained that the order was passed by the Division Bench on August 11 and the impugned order was passed on August 12. Judicial propriety demanded that the August 11 order should have been referred to in the impugned order.

The High Court had stayed the operation, implementation and execution of the notification dated July 1 till further orders of the court or till March 31, 2011, whichever was earlier.

The SLP is directed against this order. The SLP said the High Court was not justified in passing the interim order on the ground that the State government could not issue the notification in violation of its earlier notification dated December 22, 2009, for the reason that the latter notification was in the teeth of the former notification.

The impugned order amounted to interference in legislative powers of the State government under the Land Revenue Act to create new or abolish the existing divisions or districts, it argued.