IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal’s suspension issue came up on Thursday in the Supreme Court which agreed to hear a PIL seeking quashing of all proceedings against her on Monday even as IPS officers joined their IAS colleagues in batting for her.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam listed the public interest litigation (PIL) by advocate M L Sharma for hearing on August 12.
The court fixed the date after the petitioner pleaded for an urgent hearing alleging 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.
The petitioner, who contended that the action taken against Ms. Nagpal, a 2010-batch officer, was arbitrary, unconstitutional and malafide, also made the UP government and the Centre as respondents.
28-year-old Nagpal, SDM, Sadar, Gautam Budh Nagar, was suspended for ostensibly ordering the demolition of the wall of an under-construction mosque.
Opposition parties and others alleged that she was targeted for clamping down on the powerful sand mafia in the state.
Close on the heels of the IAS Officers’ Association strongly backing Ms. Nagpal, the nodal body of IPS officers on Thursday wrote a two-page letter to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, terming the action against her as “arbitrary” and “autocratic”.
The all-India association, with more than 4,000 IPS officers as its members, has requested the state government to “immediately reinstate her”.
Mr. Akhilesh, in an interview to the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday, defended the suspension and said she was very much present when the wall was demolished.
He also regretted having posted her in Greater Noida following a request made to him by her husband, a 2011-batch IAS officer. “Now, I am wondering whether I have made a mistake by taking that decision,” he said.