PIL against Arjun's statue: Govt gets more time to file reply

Jabalpur/Bhopal, Dec 3 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted two more days to the state's chief secretary to file a reply to a PIL challenging installation of a statue of late Congress leader Arjun Singh in Bhopal.

A controversy erupted last month after a life-size statue of Singh, a former chief minister, was installed at a busy road trisection in Bhopal, where there was a bust of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad earlier.

Azad's bust had been removed some years ago for road expansion, and re-installed nearby.

Greeshm Singh, a lawyer, filed a public interest litigation, claiming that the installation of Singh's statue violated a 2013 Supreme Court order restraining civic authorities from installing a statue or erecting any other structure on roads or pavements.

On Monday, the court had sought a reply from the chief secretary.

Additional Advocate General Shekhar Sharma on Tuesday sought more time to file the reply. A division bench of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Atul Sreedharan gave the government two more days, Sharma told reporters.

The petitioner's lawyer, Satish Verma, also brought to the court's notice a newspaper report about installation of a life-size statue of former prime minister Indira Gandhi at a trisection in Chhindwara in the state.

The court directed the petitioner to file an affidavit about Indira Gandhi's statue, the additional advocate general said.

The next hearing will be held on December 5.

In Bhopal, Amit Azad, a Lucknow resident who claims to belong to Chandra Shekhar Azad's family, staged a day-long sit-in on Monday, seeking reinstallation of the martyred revolutionary's bust.

On Tuesday, he met Minister for Urban Development Jaivardhan Singh.

Singh told reporters that he assured Azad that a solution will be found. PTI COR ADU MAS KRK KRK