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SC to hear urgent petitions against UP demolitions today

Court to hear two separate intervention applications filed by Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind, seeking a stay on the spate of demolitions in Saharanpur, Prayagraj, and Kanpur

Sabrangindia 16 Jun 2022

UP DemolitionImage: PTI

The Supreme Court is likely to hear two separate Intervention Applications (IS), filed by Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind (JUIH) in connection with the demolitions of homes of alleged rioters in Uttar Pradesh. It is noteworthy that JUIH was the original petitioner in the matter pertaining to the demolitions carried out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area. JUIH is now seeking an urgent and comprehensive stay on demolitions as well as related directions to the state of Uttar Pradesh and its police force to refrain from illegal and malafide actions in demolishing homes of alleged accused in Kanpur, Sahranpur and Prayagraj (Allahabad).

Filed on Monday, June 13, 2022, the IAs will be taken up for hearing in the Supreme Court today. Matters have been listed before the vacation bench of Justices Bopanna and Vikram Nath. At the time of the Jahangirpuri petition, while staying that illegal act, the highest court had refused a blanket stay on all demolitions telling senior counsel, Kapil Sibal, “You can always approach us when these are repeated.” The April pleas dealt with such peremptory and illegal demolitions in Jahangirpuri (Delhi) and Khargone (Madhya Pradesh).

Latest Intervention Applications

The first plea, filed afresh now, on June 12, relates to Kanpur demolitions in particular, has sought a stay on any further demolition drives that the authorities may be planning to carry out in Kanpur district, which witnessed violence during the protests earlier this month. Kanpur was the first city in India to experience violence following the protests against (the now suspended) BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma.

On the afternoon of June 3, following Friday prayers, attempts to shut down shops had resulted in stone pelting and violence by the police. Following its now established high-handed and unlawful procedure, the authorities had proceeded to name, blame and then proceed to demolish the homes/properties of alleged accused behind the violence. The Jamiat said in its fresh plea that following 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. The Additional Director General (Law and Order), Mr. Prashant Kumar, and Commissioner of Police of Kanpur, Mr. Vijay Singh Meena, too, has reiterated that the properties of the accused would be seized and demolished,” the application states.

The plea urged the top court to direct the UP government to ensure 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.” An article in The Hindustan Times had reported these statements of the top echelons of the police. Other media reports had revealed that of the three FIRs registered by the Kanpur police, in which 1,000 unnamed accused were listed, 55 named accused were all Muslim suggesting a partisan gaze.

The second intervention application, relates to the brazen demolition in Prayagraj (Allahabad) that was carried out in full public view on June 12, on the home of Parveen Fatima, mother of youth activist Afreen Fatima and wife of political activist Javed Mohammad. Claiming (without any investigation) that Javed Mohammad was one of the “masterminds” in the Prayagraj stone pelting that took place last Friday, the UP police – after serving a hurried post-dated one-day previous notice – had simply arrived on the spot in Kareli and brought down Parveen Fatima’s ancestral home last Sunday. An intimidating presence of 2,000 plus police and riot police prevented any citizens from protesting this brazenly illegal act.

The second intervention application states that the Prayagraj administration cited violation of building norms and demolished the house. The IA also states that the police have handed over a preliminary list of 37 accused in the protests to the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) to check for irregularities in their properties — and take action, if needed, including demolition. All these persons face a potential threat of the same kind faced by the family of Afreen Fatima.

Explicit directions have been sought from the Supreme Court by the petitioner/intervener 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 is given to each of the affected persons.” It also prayed for directions that “residential accommodation” or “any commercial property cannot be demolished as a punitive measure.”

Stating that such a “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 Hon’ble Court”, the IA which will be heard this morning seeks judicial intervention on the high-handed activities of the executive.

The applications point out that even under Section 10 of the Uttar Pradesh (Regulation of Building 7 Operations) Act, 1958, demolition of a building shall not be undertaken unless the affected person is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Further, Section 27 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973 also require that the affected person be heard before proceeding with the demolition and be given at least 15 days’ notice. Moreover, as per the Act a person aggrieved with order of demolition is entitled to appeal against it to the Chairman within a period of 30 days of the order.

Therefore, it has been stated, that the decision of proceeding with demolition of properties of accused persons clearly illegal and doing so without providing a reason opportunity of hearing is also in violation of the municipal laws of the state, as well as violating principles of natural justice. Hence, such plans of the state of proceeding with vengeance are against our democratic values and resultantly, weaken the justice delivery system of the state. Based on the law, the interveners argue that it would be in the interest of justice that any demolition drive that the authorities are planning to carry out in Kanpur District, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Sahranpur or anywhere in Uttar Pradesh are stayed during the pendency of the instant writ petition.

Meanwhile, undeterred by the national outrage and international criticism of these brazenly illegal acts, the UP Police have arrested over 350 people from nine districts for their alleged role in the protests against remarks made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. The BJP subsequently suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal.

Dainik Jagran and Indian Express had reported how lists of such “accused” had been prepared by the administration to continue with the demolition drive in the Atala drive of Prayagraj and other cities of UP. All the potential victims are from the Muslim community, including a professor who teaches in Allahabad.

According to Jagran, on Monday, June 13, officials came up with a list of houses that were allegedly built on encroached land. Most of these buildings are owned by the same people who were accused of violence in Atala on Friday. On Saturday, tehsil and PDA officials investigated the houses in the area and sent a list to the district magistrate to start the demolition process.

Such demolitions have become a regular form of state-sponsored hate, especially since the illegal demolitions in Khargone Madhya Pradesh in April 2022. A house built under the PM Awas Yojana was also destroyed at the time, and a man who had lost both his arms in an industrial accident years ago was accused of being a stone pelter! Over time, more demolitions were carried out in Delhi, Assam and Bengaluru. In all these areas, the families targeted were Muslim.

SabrangIndia had reported previously on how two Chief Ministers and one Home Minister of BJP-ruled states have been at the forefront of this Bulldozer Injustice – Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam and Home Minister Narottam Mishra of Madhya Pradesh. Adityanath has been hailed as ‘Bulldozer Baba’ for authorising demolition of homes and properties of people accused of various crimes or being members of the mafia.

 

Related:

Bulldozer Injustice: Homes of June 10 rioters to be demolished?

Anti-CAA Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s family members illegally detained!

Spontaneous pan-India protests against Nupur Sharma

Friday protests: More people booked for unlawful assembly

Why is Jharkhand governor in favour of doxing alleged riot participants’ names?

Friday protests: At least 325 arrests in UP alone!

Jahangirpuri Demolition: SC to take “serious view of demolitions after Mayor was informed of order”

Bengaluru Police raid, tear down homes of Bengali Muslim migrants

 

SC to hear urgent petitions against UP demolitions today

Court to hear two separate intervention applications filed by Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind, seeking a stay on the spate of demolitions in Saharanpur, Prayagraj, and Kanpur

UP DemolitionImage: PTI

The Supreme Court is likely to hear two separate Intervention Applications (IS), filed by Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind (JUIH) in connection with the demolitions of homes of alleged rioters in Uttar Pradesh. It is noteworthy that JUIH was the original petitioner in the matter pertaining to the demolitions carried out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area. JUIH is now seeking an urgent and comprehensive stay on demolitions as well as related directions to the state of Uttar Pradesh and its police force to refrain from illegal and malafide actions in demolishing homes of alleged accused in Kanpur, Sahranpur and Prayagraj (Allahabad).

Filed on Monday, June 13, 2022, the IAs will be taken up for hearing in the Supreme Court today. Matters have been listed before the vacation bench of Justices Bopanna and Vikram Nath. At the time of the Jahangirpuri petition, while staying that illegal act, the highest court had refused a blanket stay on all demolitions telling senior counsel, Kapil Sibal, “You can always approach us when these are repeated.” The April pleas dealt with such peremptory and illegal demolitions in Jahangirpuri (Delhi) and Khargone (Madhya Pradesh).

Latest Intervention Applications

The first plea, filed afresh now, on June 12, relates to Kanpur demolitions in particular, has sought a stay on any further demolition drives that the authorities may be planning to carry out in Kanpur district, which witnessed violence during the protests earlier this month. Kanpur was the first city in India to experience violence following the protests against (the now suspended) BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma.

On the afternoon of June 3, following Friday prayers, attempts to shut down shops had resulted in stone pelting and violence by the police. Following its now established high-handed and unlawful procedure, the authorities had proceeded to name, blame and then proceed to demolish the homes/properties of alleged accused behind the violence. The Jamiat said in its fresh plea that following 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. The Additional Director General (Law and Order), Mr. Prashant Kumar, and Commissioner of Police of Kanpur, Mr. Vijay Singh Meena, too, has reiterated that the properties of the accused would be seized and demolished,” the application states.

The plea urged the top court to direct the UP government to ensure 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.” An article in The Hindustan Times had reported these statements of the top echelons of the police. Other media reports had revealed that of the three FIRs registered by the Kanpur police, in which 1,000 unnamed accused were listed, 55 named accused were all Muslim suggesting a partisan gaze.

The second intervention application, relates to the brazen demolition in Prayagraj (Allahabad) that was carried out in full public view on June 12, on the home of Parveen Fatima, mother of youth activist Afreen Fatima and wife of political activist Javed Mohammad. Claiming (without any investigation) that Javed Mohammad was one of the “masterminds” in the Prayagraj stone pelting that took place last Friday, the UP police – after serving a hurried post-dated one-day previous notice – had simply arrived on the spot in Kareli and brought down Parveen Fatima’s ancestral home last Sunday. An intimidating presence of 2,000 plus police and riot police prevented any citizens from protesting this brazenly illegal act.

The second intervention application states that the Prayagraj administration cited violation of building norms and demolished the house. The IA also states that the police have handed over a preliminary list of 37 accused in the protests to the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) to check for irregularities in their properties — and take action, if needed, including demolition. All these persons face a potential threat of the same kind faced by the family of Afreen Fatima.

Explicit directions have been sought from the Supreme Court by the petitioner/intervener 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 is given to each of the affected persons.” It also prayed for directions that “residential accommodation” or “any commercial property cannot be demolished as a punitive measure.”

Stating that such a “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 Hon’ble Court”, the IA which will be heard this morning seeks judicial intervention on the high-handed activities of the executive.

The applications point out that even under Section 10 of the Uttar Pradesh (Regulation of Building 7 Operations) Act, 1958, demolition of a building shall not be undertaken unless the affected person is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Further, Section 27 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973 also require that the affected person be heard before proceeding with the demolition and be given at least 15 days’ notice. Moreover, as per the Act a person aggrieved with order of demolition is entitled to appeal against it to the Chairman within a period of 30 days of the order.

Therefore, it has been stated, that the decision of proceeding with demolition of properties of accused persons clearly illegal and doing so without providing a reason opportunity of hearing is also in violation of the municipal laws of the state, as well as violating principles of natural justice. Hence, such plans of the state of proceeding with vengeance are against our democratic values and resultantly, weaken the justice delivery system of the state. Based on the law, the interveners argue that it would be in the interest of justice that any demolition drive that the authorities are planning to carry out in Kanpur District, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Sahranpur or anywhere in Uttar Pradesh are stayed during the pendency of the instant writ petition.

Meanwhile, undeterred by the national outrage and international criticism of these brazenly illegal acts, the UP Police have arrested over 350 people from nine districts for their alleged role in the protests against remarks made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. The BJP subsequently suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal.

Dainik Jagran and Indian Express had reported how lists of such “accused” had been prepared by the administration to continue with the demolition drive in the Atala drive of Prayagraj and other cities of UP. All the potential victims are from the Muslim community, including a professor who teaches in Allahabad.

According to Jagran, on Monday, June 13, officials came up with a list of houses that were allegedly built on encroached land. Most of these buildings are owned by the same people who were accused of violence in Atala on Friday. On Saturday, tehsil and PDA officials investigated the houses in the area and sent a list to the district magistrate to start the demolition process.

Such demolitions have become a regular form of state-sponsored hate, especially since the illegal demolitions in Khargone Madhya Pradesh in April 2022. A house built under the PM Awas Yojana was also destroyed at the time, and a man who had lost both his arms in an industrial accident years ago was accused of being a stone pelter! Over time, more demolitions were carried out in Delhi, Assam and Bengaluru. In all these areas, the families targeted were Muslim.

SabrangIndia had reported previously on how two Chief Ministers and one Home Minister of BJP-ruled states have been at the forefront of this Bulldozer Injustice – Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam and Home Minister Narottam Mishra of Madhya Pradesh. Adityanath has been hailed as ‘Bulldozer Baba’ for authorising demolition of homes and properties of people accused of various crimes or being members of the mafia.

 

Related:

Bulldozer Injustice: Homes of June 10 rioters to be demolished?

Anti-CAA Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s family members illegally detained!

Spontaneous pan-India protests against Nupur Sharma

Friday protests: More people booked for unlawful assembly

Why is Jharkhand governor in favour of doxing alleged riot participants’ names?

Friday protests: At least 325 arrests in UP alone!

Jahangirpuri Demolition: SC to take “serious view of demolitions after Mayor was informed of order”

Bengaluru Police raid, tear down homes of Bengali Muslim migrants

 

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