The Uttar Pradesh Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna today announced that the state cabinet has approved the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance, 2020, thereby providing the authorisation to the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to confiscate properties of individuals involved in damaging property during riots in the state, including the recent anti-CAA riots.
UP Cabinet approves UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance-2020: UP minister Suresh Kumar Khanna— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) March 13, 2020
Addressing the media, Suresh Kumar Khanna said that the cabinet unanimously decided to bring the ordinance today. He said that the Supreme Court in its order on the writ petition no 77/2007 had specifically said that a strict law is needed to prevent the damage to property during protests, agitations, bandhs, hartals etc by rioters. The apex court had also ordered the videography of such incidents, and to recover damaged from the rioters. He said that the details of ordinance will be known when the rules regarding this are formulated, which will be done very soon.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had told the Uttar Pradesh government that there is no law as of then to support its action of putting roadside posters of those accused of vandalism during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow, referring the issue of privacy to the larger bench.
In a bid to name and shame the hoodlums who indulged in vandalism during the anti-CAA stir in UP, the Yogi Adityanath government had put up hoardings carrying names, addresses and photographs of anti-CAA rioters, who were accused of damaging public property. On March 9, the Allahabad High Court had ordered the UP government to remove the hoardings, saying that there is no law backing the action of the government. The High Court has said that the posters were “unwarranted interference in the privacy of people”. But the Yogi government had filed a plea at the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order, saying that those vandalising public and private property have no right of privacy. Although the vacation bench of the apex court didn’t pass any order and referred the case to a larger bench, it had noted that no law allows publication of details of accused like this.
With the cabinet nod for the UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance-2020, Yogi Adityanath government has now ensured that his government’s action passes the legal muster and the troublemakers responsible for fomenting unrest and damaging public property are shamed as well as they are made to compensate for the financial losses borne by the state and private individuals.