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Anti-CAA protesters slapped with fines to move High Court

53 held guilty of damaging public property in Muzaffarnagar

After a panel headed by the Additional District Magistrate held 53 guilty of damaging public property during an Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest in Muzaffarnagar on December 20, 2019 on Wednesday, the lawyer representing 17 of them has decided to move the Allahabad High Court.

ADM (City) Amit Kumar has directed the revenue department to recover ₹23. 41 lakh from the guilty.

“The administration is working towards instilling fear among the marginalised. Most of those held guilty are rickshaw-pullers and daily wage earners. They cannot afford legal fees, how would they pay the fine? We will move the High Court,” said advocate Mannan Baliyan.

He hopes to get a stay as the Allahabad High Court has granted ad-interim protection to a petitioner from Kanpur who was served recovery notice by the U.P. government to compensate the damage caused to public property.

“Such notices were issued across the State in an arbitrary and random manner,” said advocate Ali Qambar Zaidi, who argued for Mohd. Faizan in the High Court.

Mr. Zaidi said in a previous judgment the Supreme Court had provided the power to compute damages and investigate liability for the destruction of public property to a serving/retired High Court Judge or retired District Judge as a Claims Commissioner. “So, the Additional District Magistrate is not the competent authority,” he said.

Notice to U.P. govt.

Moreover, he said, the apex court had issued notice to the U.P. government on January 31 in a writ petition which argued that the procedure being followed by it didn’t conform to the guidelines which were enunciated in the decisions of the court.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 10:30:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/anti-caa-protesters-slapped-with-fines-to-move-high-court/article30814670.ece

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