Supreme Court refuses to give stay on demolitions, but asks UP govt not to target any community

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(Online Desk)

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the demolitions drive taken by the Uttar Pradesh government headed by Yogi Adityanath.

This was after the UP government’s assurance that it has no intention to target any particular community while taking up demolitions

To that the apex court observed;”Everything should look fair…we expect the authorities to act only in accordance with law.” It also sought a reply from the Yogi Adityanath government and civic bodies of Prayagraj and Kanpur on demolitions of properties of those who have been accused of violence amid protests. Three days have been given to submit the response.

Uttar Pradesh had witnessed massive protests after Friday prayers last week against the alleged remarks on Prophet Mohammed by two former BJP spokespersons – Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. Later, in Prayagraj and Kanpur, properties linked to those accused of violence were razed.

On Thursday, the top court observed that demolitions can’t take place without following a due process. However, the Yogi Adityanath government, during the hearing, underlined: “(There was) no case of targeting any community, notices were given and due process was followed in all cases of demolitions in Prayagraj and Kanpur.”

The petition has been filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind in a bid to stop the state government’s action. Alleging “disregard of the principles of natural justice” and violation of municipal laws that require advance notice and opportunity of hearing to persons whose properties are sought to be demolished, the Islamic body highlighted the alleged high-handedness of authorities.

“….That adoption of such extra-legal measures is clearly in violation of the principles of natural justice, especially when this Hon’ble Court is hearing the present matter. It is pertinent to note that in the present matter this Court ordered a stay of demolitions that were being carried out as a punitive measure in Northwest Delhi in similar circumstances. Hence, considering that the captioned matter is currently pending before this Court, resorting to such measures is even more alarming,” the application said,

The next hearing will take place on Tuesday.