The additional district judge (V) of Faizabad issued the warrant against the Chief Minister and others on a petition by Ali Baba, resident of Maudaha in Faizabad, alleging that Pandey forcibly got a road and a drain constructed on his (Baba) land with his constituency development funds.

The Chief Minister and others have been asked to appear before the court on September 23.

As the news of the warrant reached the Chief Minister's office, the state bureaucracy went into a tizzy and the principal secretary (law) was summoned to the Chief Minister's 5, Kalidas Marg residence and was asked to brief senior officials on the developments.

Officials said Ali Baba had given applications regarding his complaint to Shukla, the then district magistrate, but no action was taken following which he took the legal route and filed a case in the court of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM), naming the legislator and the chief minister as a party.

The CJM had dismissed the petition, following which the petitioner filed a review petition in the court of the district judge, Faizabad, who referred the case to the court of the ADJ (V).

Sources said that the ADJ had issued several notices to the chief minister, SP lawmaker and the former district magistrate but no one responded after which the court on Tuesday issued bailable warrants.

Red-faced officials, while refusing to officially comment on the matter, conceded in private that carelessness of their law officials and district officials in attending the issue.

In the past too, several officials including principal secretary (home) have been at the receiving end of the judiciary, with some facing contempt of court and other facing impending arrests.

This had prompted Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani to write a terse letter to all officials to take "court related matters seriously and sincerely".

(Agencies)

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