Allahabad HC all praise for suspended IAS officer Durga Nagpal

Suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who took on the powerful sand mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, got a pat from the Allahabad High Court today for "bravely" exercising her jurisdiction.

"We have gone through the pleading on record. We feel that the officer Nagpal bravely exercised her jurisdiction to seize 24 dumpers and stopped illegal mining in Noida. Fifteen alleged offenders have also been arrested," the court's Lucknow bench observed.

"Special flying squads were formed by her to check the menace of illegal mining at Noida," the court added.

The bench comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Ashok Pal Singh made the observations while seeking a reply from the central and Uttar Pradesh governments on the issue of illegal mining in the state on a public interest litigation seeking to revoke the suspension of the 28-year-old IAS officer.

The court, however, declined to interfere on the issue of suspension of the official as she has not approached the court and since it was a matter between her and the government.

Meanwhile, a video purportedly showing SP leader Narinder Bhati claiming that he had got UP IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who clamped down on the mining mafia, transferred in "41 minutes", is doing the rounds.

Bhati made the claim while addressing a rally in Gautam Budh Nagar, two days after he denied his involvement in the suspension of the 28-year-old officer.

"I spoke to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav at 10.30am and at 11.11am the suspension order arrived. She behaved so badly and couldn't last for 41 minutes after that. Within 41 minutes, the order came from Lucknow and she was suspended," the video showed him as saying.

Nagpal, a 2010 batch IAS officer, was served the suspension order on 27 July ostensibly for demolishing the wall of a mosque.

Bhati, who is also the UP agro chairman and enjoys minister status, maintained that permission was not taken to build the wall around the place of worship. The wall was built to allow people to offer Ramzan prayers in a clean environment, he said.

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also justified the suspension of the officer saying she had arbitrarily decided to demolish a wall of an under-construction mosque at Qadalpur village. He also denied the action had any connection with the sand mafia.