Yogi govt withdraws damage recovery notices to anti-CAA protesterstext_fields
Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn the notices for the recovery of damages sent to the anti-CAA protesters.
The decision to thwart the move came after the Supreme Court pointed out last week that the state probably overreached itself.
The move was to seize properties of people involved in the December 2019 protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Additional district magistrates (ADMs), heading the recovery claims tribunals in different districts, issued 274 notices for recovery of damages, officials say. Plus 95 issued to protesters in Lucknow at that.
Alongside, the Supreme Court on February 11 said that the state government had not followed due process.
"You have become complainant; you have become witness; you have become prosecutor... and then you attach properties of people. Is it permissible under any law?" a bench of Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant had asked the state government's law officer.
In 2009, the apex court observed in an earlier case that computing damages and investigating liability for destruction of public property was to be done either by a serving or retired high court judge—or a retired district judge as a claims' commissioner.
After anti-CAA protests turned violent in December 2019 allegedly vandalizing public property in places including Lucknow, the state government issued notices to recover the cost of properties damaged.
The authorities did so relying on the Allahabad high court's 2011 judgment in Mohammad Shujauddin versus State of UP case.
It, however, ignored the Supreme Court guidelines issued in 2009 and subsequently in 2018, IANS reports.
"If the state government has decided to withdraw notices, it's a welcome move. But the government has done so under the pressure of Supreme Court," said SR Darapuri, a former IPS officer, who too was given a notice.