Bulldozing Properties: Supreme Court Asks Govts To Follow Due Process Of Law

New Delhi: A massive controversy has erupted over the demolition of alleged unauthorized properties belonging to riots-accused persons in Uttar Pradesh.

Hearing a petition filed by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind, the Supreme Court Thursday said it cannot pass an order staying such action, but asked the authorities to ensure that due process is followed.

The petition had sought directions be issued to the authorities in UP to stop further demolition of properties without following due process.

The bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nathapex directed the Yogi Adityanath government to file its response through an affidavit in the next three days, ANI reported.

The court observed that the safety of such people (riot-accused) should be ensured.

“We should ensure their safety in the meantime. They’re also part of society. When someone has a grievance, they have a right to have it addressed. Such demolitions can only happen as per the Act. We’ll hear the case next week,” the Supreme Court bench said.

Senior advocate CU Singh, the petitioners’ lawyer, argued in the court that properties were being brought down using bulldozers in the name of action against protestors who had indulged in violence.

Describing it as ‘shocking and appalling’, Singh said: “This wasn’t seen during Emergency, not during the pre-Independence era. These are houses standing for more than 20 years. Some of these did not even belong to the accused but to their aged parents.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, arguing on behalf of the UP government, stated that none of the affected parties had moved courts against recent action in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, where demolitions were carried out after riots, and similar is the case here as the petition has been filed by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind, not by affected parties.

“Such proceedings have been going on under due process and the latest demolition was an instance of the same. Due procedures were followed,” Mehta claimed.

The house of Javed Mohammad, the alleged ‘mastermind’ of violent protests over Nupur Sharma’s objectionable remarks against Prophet Muhammad in Prayagraj earlier this month, was demolished earlier this week.

Prayagraj Development Authority claimed that the house was built violating provisions of UP State Planning and Development Rules of 1973.

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