Supreme Court hopes UP govt will no longer use bulldozers without completing the legal process
NEW DELHI – The petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the illegal demolition operation in various districts of UP for a week has finally been heard by the Supreme Court on Thursday. During the hearing, the apex court directed the UP Government to file an affidavit.
The hearing was adjourned till Tuesday next.
Although Jamiat lawyers had sought a stay on the demolition, the court said they hoped bulldozers would no longer be used illegally by the UP Government. And if an illegal building is to be demolished, then no demolition should be carried out without completing the legal process.
The arguments lasted for about half an hour during which there was a heated exchange between the parties. Senior advocates, Nitya Ramakrishnan and CU Singh, appeared on behalf of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind before a two-judge vacation bench headed by Justice A S Bopanna and Justice Vikram Nath. They told the court that illegal demolitions were being carried out in UP even after the Supreme Court had issued notices on illegal bulldozer demolition in the past, which must be stopped. It is also necessary to take action against those who have violated the law and damaged the property of Muslims.
Senior lawyers told the court that there was no such barbarism during Emergency and even before Independence as is being done in UP today. Top UP state officials have publicly stated in the media that the use of bulldozers is revenge for rioting, which will be taken from each and every accused.
The court was further told that the house of a man named Javed was demolished which was not only in his name but also in the name of his wife, similarly other houses were also illegally targeted. The lawyers further told the court that notices were posted at several places the night before, and demolition was carried out the next day under strict police arrangements due to which the victims could not even approach the court. Also, in this atmosphere of fear, victims are unable to move the courts directly.
Representing the UP government, Senior Advocate Harish Salve and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta strongly objected to the petition of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind saying it has come to the court today instead of the victims, whose property has not been damaged. On which, the bench told them that there should be no lawlessness, it should not be made the matter of debate that who has come before the court, Jamiat is also a part of the society. The court further said that it often happens that the person whose house is bulldozed does not always reach the court.
Justice Bopna further told Harish Salve that it is necessary for the court to intervene in such cases, and it would not be appropriate if the court did not intervene. Justice should be seen to be delivered, so file an affidavit in the court at the next hearing on the demolition action taken so far.
Welcoming the immediate intervention of the Supreme Court on the petition, and directing the Government of Uttar Pradesh to submit affidavit within three days, President Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani said that this interim order of the court is commendable. The final verdict will be in favour of the oppressed, If Allah wills.
The Maulana said that India is a democratic country where there is law and constitution, abiding by the laws is the primary responsibility of all but it is unfortunate that law enforcement agencies themselves are taking unconstitutional steps. Peaceful protest is the basic right of the people. Not allowing a protest by the government, charging the protesters with sticks, arresting them, beating like animals at the police station and demolishing their houses is open repression. He said that it was a conspiracy to deprive the people of their democratic and constitutional rights.