The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Thursday the pleas filed by Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no further demolitions of properties of alleged accused of recent violence are carried out in the State.
The Muslim body, in its plea, has said that no demolitions of properties be carried out without following due process and such exercise is done only after adequate notice.
A vacation bench of Justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath is likely to take up the matter two days after some former judges and senior advocates wrote to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana urging him to take suo motu cognizance of alleged incidents of illegal detention, bulldozing of residences, and police action on protestors agitating against certain objectionable remarks made by BJP spokespersons.
The letter petition has been signed by former judges of the top court — Justices B Sudarshan Reddy, V Gopala Gowda, and AK Ganguly, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court AP Shah, former judge of Madras High Court Justice K Chandru, and former judge of Karnataka High Court Mohammed Anwar.
The senior lawyers who have signed the letter petition include Shanti Bhushan, Indira Jaising, CU Singh, Sriram Panchu, Prashant Bhushan, and Anand Grover.
It said, “Instead of giving protestors an opportunity of being heard and engaging in peaceful protests, the UP state administration appears to have sanctioned taking violent action against such individuals. The Chief Minister has reportedly officially exhorted officials to take such action against those guilty that it sets an example, so that no one commits a crime or takes the law into their hands in future.”
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind organisation had earlier filed the plea on the issue of demolition of buildings in the Jahangirpuri area of the national capital.
The fresh applications in the pending petition said that after the last hearing in the matter, some new developments have taken place that requires the attention of this Court.
“Some objectionable and offensive remarks were made by two political leaders a few days ago which led to communal tension in numerous parts of the country. Following the remarks of the two political leaders, a bandh was called for by a group of people in the district of Kanpur in protest. On the day of the protest, a scuffle broke out between the Hindu and Muslim religious communities, and stone-pelting took place between the two communities. That after the violence in Kanpur, a number of persons in authority have stated in the media that the properties of suspects/accused would be confiscated and demolished. Even the Chief Minister of the state has said in the media that the houses of accused persons would be razed using bulldozers,” one of the pleas said.
The plea alleged that the adoption of such extra-legal measures is clearly in violation of the principles of natural justice, especially when the apex court is hearing the present matter.
“It is pertinent to note that in the present matter, this Hon’ble Court ordered the 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 Hon’ble Court, restoring such measures is even more alarming. That demolition exercise of any nature must be carried out strictly in accordance with applicable laws, and only after due notice and opportunity of hearing to each of the affected persons as mandated by this Court,” the plea said.
“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 plea said referring to the June 3 incident of violence in Kanpur.
The organisation has also sought directions to the State of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that any demolition exercise of any nature must be carried out strictly in accordance with applicable laws, and only after due notice and opportunity of hearing are given to each of the affected persons.
The top court had earlier issued notice to the Centre and others on the issue of demolition of buildings in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of the national capital on the plea filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind that claimed that buildings of Muslim riots accused are being razed.