SC notice to Uttar Pradesh government on demolitions
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Uttar Pradesh government and its authorities three days to respond to pleas alleging that the houses of those accused in last week’s violence were illegally demolished, saying “everything should be fair” and the authorities must strictly follow due procedure under the law.
The court made it clear that there must be a sense among citizens that the rule of law prevails in the country.
Uttar Pradesh and many other parts of the country have witnessed protests, including some that turned violent, against derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed made by now-suspended BJP spokespersons.
The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has been accused of using bulldozers to demolish the houses of those involved in the protests.
Earlier this week, former judges and senior advocates wrote to Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana urging him to take suo motu cognisance of alleged incidents of illegal detentions, bulldozing of homes and police action on protesters.
A vacation bench of Justices A.S. Bopanna and Vikram Nath on Thursday told the authorities to ensure nothing untoward happens until it hears on June 21 the appeal against the state action by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, which alleged that members of a “particular community” were being targeted.
“Everything should be fair. We expect the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law,” the apex court said.
It added: “How do we ensure their (those accused of violence) safety in the meantime? We have a duty towards them. We should ensure their safety in the meantime. Let us be clear, they are also part of society. Ultimately, when someone has some grievances, they should get a chance to address them. If this court does not come to their rescue, that would not be appropriate.”