THE SUPREME COURT will hear Jamiat-Ulama-i-appeal Hind’s against the demolition of private properties in Uttar Pradesh following violent protests over disparaging remarks about the Prophet on Thursday. The case has been assigned to a vacation bench consisting of Justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath.
The petition asks for a halt on any additional demolitions that the government may undertake in Kanpur, which was the scene of violence during the protests earlier this month.
On June 12, the Prayagraj administration razed the residence of activist Mohammad Javed, who, according to police, is one of the primary conspirators behind the district’s unrest, citing violations of building codes.
Demolition squad (editorial)
The police have handed over a preliminary list of 37 protesters to the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA), which would inspect their houses for irregularities and, if necessary, take action, including demolition.
The Jamiat application, which was filed in a pending case in which the Supreme Court had stayed a demolition drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, stated that “the 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.”
The Supreme Court refused to declare a blanket ban on demolitions across the country in the Jahangirpuri case.
Following the incident in Kanpur, “a number of officials in authority have indicated in the media that the properties of suspects/accused would be taken and demolished,” the Jamiat said in its new petition.
“Even the state’s Chief Minister has stated in the media that the homes of the accused will be demolished with bulldozers. Mr. Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General (Law and Order), and Mr. Vijay Singh Meena, Commissioner of Police of Kanpur, have also declared that the accused’s properties will be seized and demolished,” the statement said.
Demolition of Prayagraj | Records show that the activist’s wife is the owner
The petition asked the Supreme Court to order the UP government to take “no precipitative action in Kanpur District against the home or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure,” according to the petition.
It also demanded that the state “guarantee that any demolition exercise of any kind must be carried out strictly in compliance with applicable legislation, and only after each of the affected persons has been given adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard.”
It also asked for an injunction prohibiting the demolition of “residential accommodation” or “any commercial property” as a punitive punishment.
“Any demolition exercise must be conducted precisely in compliance with applicable legislation, and only after due notice and chance for hearing to each of the affected persons — as commanded by this Hon’ble Court,” it stated.
Over 350 people have been arrested in nine districts in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged role in the protests against BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal’s remarks. After that, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal.