High court moved over UP official's suspension

Lucknow, July 30 (IANS) The issue of IAS official Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension reached the Allahabad High Court Tuesday with a petitioner seeking direction to the central government to probe the matter and quash the action if found illegal.

Lucknow-based social activist Nutan Thakur filed a petition before the high court's bench here and said the central government was the cadre controlling authority of Indian Administrative Service officials like Nagpal.

The central government should be told to seek details from the Uttar Pradesh government about her suspension and quash it if found illegal and improper, Thakur said.

Nagpal, sub-divisional magistrate of Noida, was suspended Sunday by the state government for allegedly illegally ordering demolition of a wall of an under- construction mosque.

Thakur alleged that there was a serious problem of illegal sand mining and illegal religious structures on public land all over the country.

The petitioner contended that the Supreme Court had issued strict instructions to check this menace.

"In such a situation, there is an immediate need to aid and support all such officers, including Nagpal, who take action against these violations and not harass them through suspension and other means," Thakur told IANS.

The petition also urged the court to issue directions to chief secretaries of all states to aid and support those officers who act against sand mafia and illegal religious structures on public land.

While suspending Nagpal, the state government accused her of acting hastily and triggering a possible communal flash point. She has now been attached to the revenue board.

The IAS Association met the state's chief secretary Monday and expressed solidarity with the suspended official. It also demanded that the decision be revoked.