HC issues notice to UP minister

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to UP minister Satya Pal Singh Baghel on a petition alleging that he got elected from an assembly constituency reserved for Scheduled Castes though he belonged to Other Backward Classes.

A single judge bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi passed the order on the petition of Rakesh Babu, who has challenged Baghel’s election from Tundla Assembly segment of Firozabad district.

Babu was the BSP candidate and a two-time MLA from Tundla, who lost to Baghel by a huge margin of more than 50,000 votes.

In his petition, Babu has pointed out that Baghel was formerly heading the BJP’s OBC front in UP and alleged that he had contested from Tundla by submitting a fake caste certificate to claim SC status.

A former Samajwadi Party leader who joined the BJP shortly before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Baghel holds fisheries, minor irrigation and animal husbandry portfolios in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet.

In its order dated May 26, the court directed Baghel to file his reply by the next date of hearing on August 18.