Lucknow: In a major decision Friday evening, the Uttar Pradesh government has come up with an ordinance to legalise the recovery of damages incurred during any protests, dharna or illegal agitations in the state.
Named as "Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Properties Ordinance 2020", the ordinance was approved by the cabinet. The ordinances have a validity of six months. In this period the government is supposed bring a Bill in the legislature to make it a law.
This comes after the Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court said there's no law to back UP government's ‘name and shame’ hoardings of the accused persons allegedly involved in vandalism during the CAA protests in Lucknow. The hoardings display their photos, addresses and amount to be recovered from them.
The activists have challenged both the moves of the State, recovery of damage and hoardings, in the courts calling both illegal.
Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told media after the cabinet meet, “Presently recovery is being done through government order (GO) but after the SC orders the ordinance was brought in.”
He added, “During the cabinet meeting all the ministers praised the chief minister for his decision to approach Supreme Court as it will help prevent incidents of vandalism and damage of properties in future.”
The top court, while referring the appeal of the state government to a larger three-judge bench next week on the ground that it required "further elaboration and consideration", questioned the UP government whether the fundamental right to privacy of alleged protesters can be waived by the state by "castigating them for all times" to come.
The Uttar Pradesh government had moved the top court challenging the Allahabad High Court order asking removal of all such “name and shame” hoardings.
Several protesters across Uttar Pradesh were booked and jailed for allegedly inciting or indulging in violence last December during anti-CAA protests. Over 20 persons were killed during the violence in which several police and private vehicles, police stations, shops and houses were torched or vandalised.
The district administrations have served notices to scores of activists seeking recovery of damages, public and private both. The penalty ranges from a few lakhs to crores. The notices say that if the accused failed to deposit the money, their properties would be confiscated.