Other States

U.P. clears Ordinance for recovery of damages

Decision comes a day after SC did not stay HC order to remove hoardings

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Friday gave its approval to an Ordinance for the recovery of damage to public and private property during protests.

U.P. Finance Minister Suresh Khanna announced the decision of the State Cabinet, which gave its consent to the U.P. Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020.

The government decision came a day after the Supreme Court did not stay the Allahabad High Court order to the Lucknow administration to “forthwith” remove roadside hoardings displaying the personal details of persons accused of vandalism and arson during the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last December.

During the hearing of the Vacation Bench, one of the judges had orally remarked that the U.P. government’s action was not “covered in law”.

The U.P. government had issued recovery notices to at least 500 persons in the State for damage to property during the protests in December.

Mr. Khanna said the Ordinance would arrange for the recovery of damage to public and private property during any protest, movement or demonstration.

Without giving any further details, Mr. Khanna said the specifics would be known when the “niyamawali” or manual of rules for it is released.

‘Honouring the court’

Sidharth Nath Singh, U.P. government spokesperson, said the State had brought the Ordinance in compliance with the Supreme Court’s observations. “We are honouring the court. The court said there must be an Act on this,” he said, adding that earlier recovery of damages was covered under a government order but now it would be under a law.

Mr. Khanna said the Ordinance was based on the 2007 order by the apex court in criminal writ petitions 73 and 77 that a “strong law” was needed to deal with the damage to public and private property during political protests and demonstrations.

The State government’s decision comes at a time when it has — in a controversial move — put up several hoardings in Lucknow identifying those accused of violence during the protests against the CAA in December last.

Terming it an “unwarranted interference in privacy” of people and a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution, the Allahabad High Court had on Monday directed the Lucknow administration to remove the ‘name and shame’ roadside hoardings. However, the State approached the apex court through a special leave petition against the decision, following which the court referred the appeal to a larger Bench.

The total damage listed in the hoardings amounts to ₹1.55 crore. As many as 57 persons have been identified in the hoardings.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 12:41:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-clears-ordinance-for-recovery-of-damages/article31064913.ece

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