The Uttar Pradesh government Wednesday challenged in the Supreme Court an Allahabad HC order directing it to remove hoardings with photographs and addresses of those booked for anti-CAA protests in December.
The hoardings have been put up in Lucknow.
The state government’s appeal is scheduled to be heard on Thursday by a vacation bench of Justice U U Lalit and Justice Aniruddha Bose, advocate general for Uttar Pradesh, Raghvendra Singh, told PTI.
The High Court, taking suo motu cognizance of the matter, had on March 9 asked the UP government to take down the hoardings, calling them “an unwarranted interference in the privacy of people”.
It had directed the district magistrate and the Lucknow police commissioner to submit a compliance report on the removal of the posters by March 16.
The judgment, by Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha, read: “In the present case, the cause is not about personal injury caused to the persons whose personal details are given in the banner but the injury caused to the precious constitutional value and its shameless depiction by the administration. The cause as such is undemocratic functioning of government agencies which are supposed to treat all members of the public with respect and courtesy and at all times should behave in a manner that upholds constitutional and democratic values.”
The banners had been put up on March 5, with the names and addresses of 57 people whom the state government had earlier held responsible for damage to property during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow on December 19. The banners sought an amount of Rs 1.55 crore in damages, warning that properties will be seized if the money is not deposited.
Among those whose photographs have been displayed are activists like Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, retired IPS officer SR Darapuri, Rihai Manch founder Mohammad Shoaib and prominent Shia cleric Kalbe Sadiq’s son Kalbe Sibtain Noori.
While the activists had earlier been planning to move court against the hoardings, they had welcomed the HC taking suo motu cognizance and providing them relief.
Meanwhile, the Meerut district administration too is planning to put up hoardings carrying the names and photos of those served notices for the recovery of damages to public property during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in December 2019. Such notices have been served to 51 people, for the recovery of Rs 28.27 lakh.
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