New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on pleas by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind and others seeking directions to state authorities to ensure that no further demolitions of properties are carried out without following due process.
A vacation bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath said it cannot stay demolition but a process of law must be followed for demolition of alleged unauthorised structures.
The Apex Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit in three days.
The hearing over the matter will be held next week.
Hearing the matter, the Supreme Court observed that "the government will get time to file their objections. We should ensure their safety in the meantime. They are also part of society. When someone has a grievance they have a right to have it addressed. Such demolitions can only happen as per Act. We will hear the case next week."
Senior advocate CU Singh, appearing for petitioners, told Supreme Court that the reason cited for demolition was that the action is being taken against protestors who had indulged in violence.
Singh argued that "demolition keeps happening again and again. It is shocking and appalling. This was not during the Emergency, not during the pre-independence era. These are houses standing for more than 20 years and sometimes not even belonging to the accused but their aged parents."
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind moved the Supreme Court seeking to issue directions to the State of Uttar Pradesh that no precipitative action be taken in Kanpur District against the residential or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure.
The application by the organization Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has also urged the Court that any demolition drive that the authorities are planning to carry out in Kanpur District should be stayed during the pendency of the instant writ petition.
The development had come after the UP government conducted a demolition drive at the "illegal properties" of two "masterminds" of the violent protest that erupted on June 10, as outrage at the controversial remarks of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad.
Earlier on Sunday, the Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) issued a demolition notice at the residence of the main conspirator Javed Ahmed, asking him to vacate the house by 11 am as it was "illegally constructed".
During the demolition drive, posters and flags were taken out of the residence of the Prayagraj violence accused Javed Ahmed.
According to Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Kumar, the names of the people linked with AIMIM have surfaced and there could be more masterminds of the violence.The SSP said that there are 70 others who are named as accused and over 5,000 people unnamed in the violence. "Action will be taken under the Gangster Act and NSA," he added.