New Delhi [India], June 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on pleas by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind and also asked the administration to follow the process of law for carrying out the demolition of alleged unauthorised structures.
The bench of justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath also observed that the Court cannot stay demolitions but the process of law must be followed for the demolition of alleged unauthorised structures.
The bench of justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath asked the Uttar Pradesh government and others to file a reply on the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind application against the demolition drive seeking to issue directions to the State of Uttar Pradesh.
The Supreme Court was hearing the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind application seeking to issue directions to the State of Uttar Pradesh that no precipitative action be taken in the state against the residential or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure.
The Apex Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit in three days and said that the hearing on the matter will be held next week.
Hearing the matter, the Supreme Court observed that “the government will get time to file their objections. We should ensure their safety in the meantime. They are also part of society. When someone has a grievance they have a right to have it addressed. Such demolitions can only happen as per Act. We will hear the case next week.”
During the hearing that went for half an hour, the Court also made various observations. The Court remarked that how do we ensure safety in meantime. “We have a duty. We should ensure safety in meantime. If this court doesn’t come to rescue, that wouldn’t be proper, ” the Court said.
During the hearing, 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.”
Petitioner’s counsel said that Section 27 of the Uttar Pradesh Municipality Act provides for notice to be given in line with urban planning acts across the country. Notices are given to themselves to remove the illegal construction. In Uttar Pradesh, atleast 15 days have to be given for this and 40 days wait is mandatory. They can appeal to the chairman, which gives a window before demolition action can be taken, the petitioner’s counsel submitted.
“Ordinarily, notices are given and you don’t just come knocking on doors with a bulldozer, ” he said.
Countering his submission, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government apprised the Court that none of the affected parties filed a plea in the Jahangirpuri demolition issue in the Supreme Court and the same is here as it’s filed by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind. He remarked that no legal structure or building was demolished and everyone has their agenda as one political party has filed a petition.
However, the Court remarked not to take this as adversarial as who has approached.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Uttar Pradesh authorities, took the Court through three instances. “In Prayagraj notice was issued in May much before the riot and on May 25 demolition order was passed, he submitted, it and also pointed out another of Kanpur for the demolition of the boundary wall. In proceedings in the third case, the first show-cause notice was given on August 17, 2020. Two more notices were given, the property was sealed and FIRs filed,” he said adding that they will put it on affidavit and sought three days time to file an affidavit in this regard.
“Media picks this up and hypes to say blanket order should be passed. The court should give us time to place this on affidavit. Why should a generic order be passed,” asked Salve.
Solicitor General said in the Jahangirpuri area structures were removed not looking at which community owns the property. “Their fundamental argument is law is not for them. Such proceedings have been going on with the due process and the latest demolition was an instance of the same. Due procedures were followed,” Solicitor General added.
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 stay during the pendency of the instant writ petition.
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