The Supreme Court on Thursday denied to stay the demolition drive carried out by the Uttar Pradesh government on houses of those who had allegedly participated in protests against ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma after she had made remarks on the life of Mohammad. However, the top court observed that the “process of law must be followed for the demolition of alleged unauthorised structures”.
There must be a sense among the citizens that rule of law prevails in the country, a vacation bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath said. “Everything should be fair. We expect the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law,” it said.
“Respondents will get time for their objections. We should ensure their safety in the meantime. Let us be clear, they are also part of society. Ultimately when someone has a grievance they have a right to have it addressed,” the Court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.
Listing the matter for Tuesday, the apex court further asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file its response within 3 days on the pleas seeking directions to UP authorities to stop further demolition of properties in the state without following due process.
Senior advocate CU Singh, appearing for petitioners, told Supreme Court that the reason cited for demolition was that the action is being taken against protestors who had indulged in violence.
Singh argued that “demolition keeps happening again and again. It is shocking and appalling. This was not during the Emergency, not during the pre-independence era. These are houses standing for more than 20 years and sometimes not even belonging to the accused but their aged parents.”
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind moved the Supreme Court seeking to issue directions to the State of Uttar Pradesh that no precipitative action be taken in Kanpur District against the residential or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure.
The application by the organization Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has also urged the Court that any demolition drive that the authorities are planning to carry out in Kanpur District should be stayed during the pendency of the instant writ petition.
The development had come after the UP government conducted a demolition drive at the “illegal properties” of two “masterminds” of the violent protest that erupted on June 10, as outrage at the remarks of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma on the life of Muhammad.
Earlier on Sunday, the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) issued a demolition notice at the residence of the main conspirator Javed Ahmed, asking him to vacate the house by 11 am as it was “illegally constructed”. During the demolition drive, posters and flags were taken out of the residence of the Prayagraj violence accused Javed Ahmed.