Published on: June 17, 2022 at 16:37 IST
The Uttar Pradesh Government has been ordered by the Supreme Court not to carry out demolition activities unless they are done in compliance with the law.
“Action will only be in accordance with law,” it said.
The applications were submitted by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind in response to the demolition campaign in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. On April 21, the Court issued a notice and ordered a halt to the demolition campaign initiated by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in the riot-plagued Jahangirpuri neighborhood.
Using the fact that the status quo did not apply to Uttar Pradesh, the state authorities proceeded to bulldoze the properties of people allegedly involved in violent incidents in response to some objectionable and offensive remarks made by two political leaders about Prophet Mohammad, according to Advocate CU Singh, appearing for the Petitioner.
“Demolitions can’t take place without notices, we are conscious of that,” Justice Bopanna remarked at the outset.
According to Section 27 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning Act, a notice of not less than 15 days must be sent to the person responsible or the owner to themselves.
Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General, argued that because there is a claim of law violations, some aggrieved party must step up and claim that demolition action was taken against it without notice as retaliation for its role in the riots.
“We’ve to be conscious of the fact that those people whose houses are demolished may not be able to approach the Court,” Justice Bopanna responded.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, also appearing for the UP government, submitted, “There are three instances. In Prayagraj, notice was issued in May, much before the riots. On 25 May, demolition order was passed. And the property is valuable, so people are not those who could not approach.”
He sought three days’ time to put the records on affidavit.
“We also keep seeing, we are also parts of society. We also see what’s happening. Sometimes we have also formed some impressions. In someone’s case of grievance, if this court doesn’t come to rescue, it’s not proper.”
In the application, Advocate Kabir Dixit and Advocate Sarim Naved further requested that the State of Uttar Pradesh not take any precipitative action against the home or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure in Kanpur District.
A struggle broke out between the Hindu and Muslim religious communities on the day of the demonstration, and stone pelting occurred between the two communities, according to the report.
“This is appalling. We haven’t seen this in this country, not during emergency not in pre independence india. Not just person’s house, houses of their parents etc are demolished. This cant be countenanced in a Republic and in a country with rule of law,” Singh submitted.
The Bench inquired if any prior proceedings were held against the properties that have been demolished.