UP government withdraws recovery notices issued to anti-CAA protesters
The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it had taken back over 270 notices issued for the recovery of damages to public properties during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in 2019. The state added that all subsequent proceedings in this regard will be in view of the enactment of a new law framed for the recovery of such damages.
- The UP government's U-turn comes after the Supreme Court rebuked it for issuing the notices, saying the proceedings were contrary to the law laid down by it.
- The government had acted like a "complainant, adjudicator, and prosecutor" by attaching the properties of the accused.
- Several parts of India were rocked by protests against a new citizenship law between late 2019 and early 2020.
UP's Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad, appearing for the state, told the Supreme Court that the government had withdrawn the notices through orders issued earlier this week. In response, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant accepted the submission and appreciated the "fair gesture." It further directed the state government to refund all recoveries made in this connection so far.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by one Parwaiz Arif Titu, seeking the quashing of recovery notices sent to alleged protesters in UP. The petitioner said the notices had been issued in an "arbitrary manner," including against a person who had died years ago and those who had not been booked under any criminal offense.
According to previous Supreme Court orders, the power to compute damages and investigate liability for damage to public property can be exercised either by a serving/retired high court judge or a district judge as a claims commissioner. To note, the UP government had issued 274 recovery notices as protesters allegedly destroyed public property in several areas, including state capital Lucknow, during the anti-CAA agitation.