The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh's Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government to remove the hoardings featuring anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters.
Earlier, taking suo moto cognizance of a public interest litigation on the issue the High Court in an unprecedented sitting on Sunday, a court holiday, slammed the government's move calling it "highly unjust" and "absolute encroachment on personal liberty of individuals".
A bench headed Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha had summoned District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash and Commissioner of Police Sujeet Pandey at 10 am on Sunday. However, Advocate General Raghvendra Singh could not reach the court on time to respond on the government behalf, hence, the court deferred the hearing to 3 pm.
Later at 3 pm, the AG said that the Allahabad HC had no jurisdiction to take up this matter suo motu as the hoardings were put up in Lucknow. Strongly responding to the AG, Chief Justice Mathur said that the High Court has jurisdiction over matters concerning the entire state.
On Thursday, the district administration in Lucknow installed hoardings with photographs and addresses of 53 anti-CAA protesters at prominent crossings across the city, asking them to pay compensation for damage to public property during anti-CAA protests.
The hoardings also included pictures of Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, former IPS officer SR Darapuri and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar, all of whom were named as accused in the violence that swept the state capital on December 19, 2019.