UP: HC Orders Government To Remove Hoardings With Pictures Of Anti-CAA Protesters Accused Of Arson, Calls It ‘Interference In Their Privacy’

UP: HC Orders Government To Remove Hoardings With Pictures Of Anti-CAA Protesters Accused Of Arson, Calls It ‘Interference In Their Privacy’ One of the many hoardings put up by the Lucknow administration (Sumit Kumar/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • Allahabad High Court tells Lucknow administration and police to remove the ‘name and shame’ hoardings.

Last week, Lucknow Administration and Lucknow Police came up with hoardings at prominent spots in the city of prime localities. These hoardings displayed pictures, names and addresses of those who are required to pay damages to the state.

These people are accused of destroying public property during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests that took place in December last year.

Today (9 March), the Allahabad High Court has ordered the district magistrate and the police commissioner of Lucknow to remove the hoardings with immediate effect, according to an IANS news report.

The court called UP government's move an "unwarranted interference in privacy of people".

The High Court had taken suo moto notice of the government's decision to put up the hoardings. In a rare move, the court held a hearing on this issue on 8 March, Sunday, a court holiday, India Today said in its report.

A report in The Economic Times says, "Some prominent personalities like Congress worker Sadaf Jafar, retired IPS officer S R Darapuri, Sibtain Sadiq — son of internationally-renowned Shia scholar Kalbe Sadiq, Maulana Saif Abbas — another Shia cleric, have also been featured in these hoardings”.

The message featured with the hoardings, according to reports, said that the accused would have to collectively pay “Rs 1.55 crore, within one month, or else their properties will be confiscated”.

The issue took a political turn when Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stepped up the criticism of the Yogi Adityanath-led government on the matter. Reports say that she "accused the Yogi Adityanath government of acting unconstitutionally" with the Lucknow administration featuring photographs and details of the accused.

She took to Twitter to say that the attitude of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and of the local administration under it is such that the officials have begun to consider themselves above the Constitution, and that the apex court has said that one is not above the Constitution.

Her tweet came after the Allahabad High Court “pulled up” the state government on the matter of putting up hoardings of anti-CAA protesters of Lucknow.

This report says,

A bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and justice Ramesh Sinha said that the act was “highly unjust” and that it was an absolute “encroachment” on personal liberty of the persons concerned.

The Economic Times report says that last month, the Allahabad High Court had stayed the recovery order served to Kanpur resident.

The court had said that it had “violated the Supreme Court guidelines”. It adds,

The HC had said that the authority to measure damages and fix liabilities rested with a serving or retired high court or district court judge and not the ADM in the case of UP. It had also sent a notice to the UP government seeking a reply and the matter is to be next heard on April 20.

According to this report, there are similar plans in Meerut where the district administration has “served notices to 51 people for the recovery of Rs 28.27 lakh for damage to public properties during the December 20 anti-CAA protest”.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has also attacked the state government for the move. According to this report, he has expressed his displeasure by saying that the state government is acting against the rights of citizens.

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