UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (Photo Credit: PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Friday gave its nod to an ordinance on recovery of losses due to damage to state and private properties during political processions. The move comes in the backdrop of the Allahabad High Court’s March 9 order, directing the state government to remove the posters put up on roadsides with details of those accused of vandalism during anti-CAA protests in Lucknow.
The Uttar Pradesh government moved the top court challenging the high court order but was told that there is "no law" which backs its action of putting up the posters. Friday’s decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It is not immediately clear whether this is with retrospective effect.
"The cabinet has approved UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance-2020 for recovery of losses of government and private properties during political processions, illegal agitations," state minister Suresh Kumar Khanna told reporters after the meeting.
When asked about the rules and regulations regarding this, the minister said, "Everything will be clear in the rules and regulations being framed." "As per the SC decision to constitute recovery tribunal to recover losses to government and private properties in political and illegal agitations in the country, the resolution to bring the ordinance has been passed in the cabinet," he said.
Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said at present, recovery was done through government order but after the Supreme Court orders, the ordinance was brought in. He also said that during the cabinet meeting, all the ministers praised the chief minister for his decision “to approach the Supreme Court as it will help prevent incidents of vandalism and damage of properties in future”.
The Supreme Court had on Thursday put a poser to the Uttar Pradesh saying whether the fundamental right to privacy of alleged protesters can be waived by the state by “castigating them for all times” to come. A vacation bench of justices U U Lalit and Aniruddha Bose referred the appeal of the state government to a larger three-judge bench next week on the ground that it required “further elaboration and consideration”.
It, however, did not stay the Allahabad High Court's order asking the Lucknow administration to remove the posters. The high court had also directed the district magistrate and the Lucknow police commissioner to submit a compliance report on or before March 16.
The posters were displayed to "name and shame" the accused who had allegedly caused damage to public property during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the state capital on December 19 last year.
Besides IPS officer SR Darapuri, activist-politician Sadaf Jafar is among those whose names and photos have been put up at major road crossings in Lucknow.