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UP Govt To Supreme Court: Properties demolished for other violations, Not to punish Rioters

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Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 23, 2022 at 17:47 IST

In a Petition to the Supreme Court, the State of Uttar Pradesh submitted that the recent demolitions in Kanpur and Prayagraj were carried out by local development authorities entirely in accordance with the 1973 Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act.

The State submitted its arguments in an affidavit filed in response to applications made by Jamiat Ulama-l-Hind, which alleged that the demolitions were selective actions targeting the minority community in response to protests over remarks made against the Prophet Muhammad.

The State said that the Petitioner “cherry picked” two of the demolitions and its’ an attempt to falsely link two demolitions of illegal constructions in the properties of two people Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad and Mr. Riyaz Ahmed to the rioting.

However, the State has further submitted that both of the two in question were under construction, not in accordance with the permission granted, and that certain portions of both were illegal or non-compliant structures. Most importantly, the Kanpur Development Authority had already begun legal action against the two buildings under the Urban Planning Act before any rioting incidents occurred.

The State said that the Kanpur and Prayagraj Development Authorities, which are statutory autonomous bodies independent of the State administration, carried out the demolitions in accordance with the UP Urban Planning and Development Act, 1972, as part of their routine effort against unauthorized/illegal constructions and encroachments.

The State has urged the court to hold the Petitioner accountable for the stated false allegations without basis before the Supreme Court while also calling all of these allegations absolutely false.

The State contends that there is no justification for invoking the Supreme Court’s extraordinary jurisdiction because the present interim applications seek an omnibus relief while final relief has already been claimed in the Writ Petition.

It should be noted that on June 16th, the Supreme Court orally asked the Uttar Pradesh government to only conduct demolition activities in compliance with the legal procedure.

The State was given three days by the court to show that the recent demolitions complied with both procedural and municipal laws.

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