The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s response to a plea filed by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan seeking directions to remove barriers and barbed wires set up at the premises of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, Live Law reported.

The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala has directed the state government to file its reply by July 19.

The matter pertains to a land grabbing case in which Khan is accused of illegally acquiring a 13.84-hectare plot in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district for constructing the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University. The land was categorised as enemy property under the Enemy Property Act, 1968 after its former owner, a man named Imamuddin Qureshi, went to Pakistan during Partition.

Khan, who is the Rampur MLA, had been in jail for over two years on connection with the land grabbing case.

On May 10, the Allahabad High Court, while granting bail to Khan, had directed the Rampur district magistrate to take possession of the property attached to the university’s campus, Live Law reported. It had also told the authorities to raise a boundary wall with barbed wires around it.

Khan then moved the Supreme Court, which on May 27 stayed the High Court’s orders, Live Law reported. The court also directed the authorities to de-seal the property and restore its peaceful possession. The state government, however, did not remove the barbed wire fence from the premises, claimed Khan, Live Law reported.

On Thursday, Justice Khanwilkar directed Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the state, to “restore the status quo ante”.

Sibal said that Khan would be filing a contempt petition against the state for defying Supreme Court’s orders.

The two-judge Supreme Court bench listed the matter for hearing on July 22.