Chief Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government Atul Kumar Gupta appeared in the Supreme Court on Wednesday in the contempt case relating to alleged violation of orders restraining construction at memorial sites in Lucknow.

The court on October 6 issued notice to him to show cause as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him for violating the restraint orders. In his response, Mr. Gupta tendered an unqualified apology for any kind of disobedience or deviation, aberration or misconstruction, which might have happened in implementing the orders.

When the matter was taken up before a Bench comprising Justices H.S. Bedi and J.M. Panchal, senior counsel for the State R.N. Trivedi, submitted that the Chief Secretary was present and that his future appearance could be dispensed with. When senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for petitioner Mithilesh Kumar Singh, insisted that the Chief Secretary be asked to be remain present on every occasion, Justice Bedi said “he had already apologised. We will ask him to come as and when required.”

The Bench, in its brief order, dispensed with the personal appearance of the Chief Secretary until further orders and issued notice to the petitioner to respond to the fresh application of the government seeking a direction to lift the stay on construction activities and to respond to the Chief Secretary’s reply in the contempt matter.

It directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on November 30.

In its application, the government sought lifting the stay on construction activities as it had become quite impossible to carry out even the repairs.