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Delhi HC issues notice to central and state govt, Delhi police on plea for recovering damages from anti-CAA rioters who destroyed public property

Advocate Yudhvir Singh Chauhan, appearing for the petitioners also sought for setting up independent machinery for investigating the claims of damages and awarding compensation.

On Monday, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the Delhi police on a plea seeking recovery of damages from persons who damaged the public properties during the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the year 2020.

The notice was issued by the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla based on a PIL filed by advocate Hinu Mahajan and a law student named Amandeep Singh Gehlot. The petitioners stated that they had personally visited the various places in Delhi and were shocked and saddened to see the damages caused during the Delhi riots.

Meanwhile, Advocate Yudhvir Singh Chauhan, appearing for the petitioners also sought for setting up independent machinery for investigating the claims of damages and awarding compensation. The case has been listed for further hearing on September 21.

According to the reports, the petitioner, advocate Hinu Mahajan is also a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mahila Morcha and had made several political parties respondents in the case. However, the court has called for the deletion of the issue and has demanded an amended memo of parties to be filed.

Violent anti-CAA protests and UP govt’s action against rioters

It is important to note that UP CM Yogi Adityanath has been very clear about his intentions from the day the riots took place in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He had warned rioters that taking the law into their hands, indulging in arson can land them into trouble. In the year 2020, the UP government had approved the ‘Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance, 2020’ thereby enabling the confiscation of properties of individuals involved in damaging property during riots in the state, including the recent anti-CAA riots.

Earlier in March 2020, the UP government had put hoardings of 57 anti-CAA vandals in prominent intersections in state capital Lucknow. The hoardings included their names, addresses, and photos of the violent protesters who damaged public property during the riots that claimed 22 lives in December last year. The rioters were asked to pay the penalty amount within a month.

The Allahabad High Court had ordered the state government to remove the hoardings, saying that there is no law backing the action of the government. The High Court had said that the posters were ‘unwarranted interference in the privacy of people’. But the Yogi government later filed a plea at the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order, saying that those vandalizing public and private property had no right to privacy. The SC then 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 damages from the rioters.

Recently, in the month of February this year, the Supreme Court made it clear to all that the government can issue fresh notices against the rioters and can re-attach the properties under the new law that was brought by the UP government.

The apex court has also directed that all the notices issued for recoveries by the district administration should be withdrawn and has allowed fresh notices to be issued under the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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