SC refuses to apply brakes on bulldozers in Uttar Pradesh
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the demolition drive by the Uttar Pradesh government but directed the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law. The SC also granted three days to the government and other respondents to file their objections over the fresh plea filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind seeking to stop demolition drives in UP owing to Kanpur violence.
- Widespread protests, leading to violence in several cities, erupted across India following the controversial remarks by former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
- Meanwhile, the UP government came under attack for illegally targeting the properties of accused persons.
- Earlier, there has been a rise in incidents of administrations demolishing residential and business properties as a punitive measure against people allegedly associated with protests.
The SC bench comprising justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath said it can't stay demolitions, but can ask for the same to be done in accordance with the law. The plea was filed by the JUH after the government started demolishing the properties of accused persons in UP following the violence in Kanpur. The bench is expected to hear the matter on June 21.
Referring to media reports, the Supreme Court bench stated that the administration had taken retaliatory measures. "Everything should be fair. We expect the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law," it said. The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, to take all the necessary precautions and ensure no untoward incident happens.
Harish Salve, the senior advocate for the government, said that the cases in which action has been taken so far were given notices in advance. He informed the SC that all legal procedures have been followed in the matter. Salve said that the petitioner is not directly affected by this action anywhere and they allegedly filed petitions only on the basis of news reports.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) had filed a petition in the SC against the bulldozer action in UP, calling it completely illegal. The petition, filed through senior advocate CU Singh, had demanded a stay on the action. It has also sought direction for the government to stop further demolition of properties in the state, which is allegedly being done without following the due process.
During the hearing, the petitioner's counsel contended that the government action is part of a vendetta. He claimed that because the accused were perceived as thugs, their properties were bulldozed. He stated that everyone, from the CM to the police officers, is urging the demolition of the homes of the accused, indicating that no legal procedure has been followed.