Name and shame posters of CAA protesters ‘highly unjust’: Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court on Sunday said it was “highly unjust” that authorities had put up roadside banners with photographs and information of people asked to pay compensation for damages to property during protests against the citizenship act and hoped they would be removed.
The Uttar Pradesh government, however, asserted that it was meant to be a “deterrent” action and the court should not interfere.
A bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha reserved its order till March 9.
The state police have put up several hoardings across Lucknow identifying those accused of violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act last year.
The names, photographs and residential addresses of the accused have been listed on the hoardings and they have been asked to pay for the damage to property.
On March 7, the court had on its own taken cognisance of the matter and asked the district magistrate and divisional commissioner of Lucknow to inform it under which law the posters/hoardings had been put up.
The bench, which took up the matter on Sunday, termed the action “highly unjust” and said it was an absolute encroachment on the personal liberty of individuals.
It later adjourned the matter till 3pm as additional advocate general Neeraj Tripathi said the advocate general would represent the state government in this matter.
As the bench rose, it expressed the hope that “good sense would prevail” and the state would remove the hoardings before 3pm.
When the hearing resumed, advocate general Raghvendra Pratap Singh contended that the court should not interfere as those involved had damaged public and private property.
The advocate general said the state government had taken a “deterrent” action, so that such incidents of violence don’t recur.
The court then reserved its order till 2pm on Monday.
Earlier, activist politician Sadaf Jafar had called the action unethical and vowed to take legal recourse. “How can we be publicly humiliated for something that has not yet been proved in court,” she said. “Legal issues cannot be brought into public like this. Our bail order says there is no adequate evidence against us,” Jafar told PTI.
Jafar had been arrested after the violence in Lucknow and later granted bail. “We are not absconding,” she said.
Former IPS officer S.R. Darapuri, who too had spent several days in jail, had said: “Our life, property and freedom have been put in jeopardy and our reputation has been damaged.” “We will challenge it in court collectively and demand action against the officials responsible,” the 77-year-old had said.