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Saturday, August 08, 2020

Hoarding shaming: As SC refers to larger bench, UP brings a law

State Cabinet Minister Suresh Khanna said the decision had been taken in view of the Supreme Court’s observations on different petitions regarding damage to public property.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: March 14, 2020 12:44:08 pm
lucknow hoardings anti caa protesters, UP hoardings anti caa protesters, sc on UP hoardings, UP law hoardings anti caa protesters HC ordered UP govt to take down the hoardings. (File photo)

A day after its challenge to the Allahabad High Court order directing it to take down name-and-shame hoardings, carrying photographs and details of people accused of violence during anti-CAA protests, was referred to a larger bench of the Supreme Court, the UP Cabinet Friday cleared the draft Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020.

State Cabinet Minister Suresh Khanna said the decision had been taken in view of the Supreme Court’s observations on different petitions regarding damage to public property. “An incident has been highlighted in newspapers recently. We have decided to bring an ordinance for the same. UP Cabinet has unanimously cleared the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020,” he said.

While hearing different petitions, the Supreme Court, Khanna said, had observed that public and private properties get damaged during political processions, illegal agitations, strikes etc, and that there was need for a strict law. He said the court had also observed that such protests should be videographed, and there ought to be a provision to compensate the loss.

“Considering the same, the new draft ordinance has been cleared unanimously by the state Cabinet today,” he said. The ordinance, he said, will specify how to compensate for damage or loss to property during such protests and agitations.

Read | SP leader says hoardings with pictures of Chinmayanand, Sengar removed, police deny

Cabinet Minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said that so far the steps for recovery were being initiated under an old order of the government, but now it will be done under a proper law. “Court said there should be an Act. So, respecting the order of the Court, this ordinance has been brought. Today, all Cabinet members thanked and congratulated the Chief Minister for taking the decision to move the Supreme Court. We told him that because of his decision, incidents of damage to public and private property during such agitations will be controlled by bringing this ordinance,” he said.

In the Supreme Court Thursday, a two-judge bench, hearing UP’s challenge to the High Court order on the hoardings, initially said there was “no law” to back the action of the state government. The bench decided to send the matter to a larger bench after it was told about the “persuasive value” of a judgment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The judges did not, however, stay the High Court order directing the Lucknow administration to remove the hoardings. The administration was told by the High Court to submit a compliance report on or before March 16.

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