Jamiat ‘cherry-picked’ incidents: UP govt to SC over plea against demolition
New Delhi, Jun 22: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday rejected the allegations of illegal demolition targeting the accused in the protests that erupted in the state earlier this month against the comments made by the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on the Prophet Muhammad.
In an affidavit, the UP government informed the Supreme Court that recent demolitions of properties carried out in the state were done following due process and were in no way related to taking action against persons accused of rioting. Government has taken action against rioters as per a different set of statutes.
Further, the UP govt has told the SC that petitioner Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has selectively picked certain media reports and that allegations levelled by them are false. It has also urged the SC to dismiss the plea.
In the last hearing, the Supreme Court gave the Uttar Pradesh government and its authorities three days to respond to pleas alleging that houses of those accused in last week's violence were illegally demolished.
"Everything should be fair. We expect the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law," it said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, and senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Kanpur and Prayagraj civic authorities, said due process of law was followed and notice in one instance of a demolition was given way back in August 2020.
Mehta said none of the affected parties are before the court and a Muslim body, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, has approached the court seeking a generic order that there should not be any demolition.
Senior advocates C U Singh, Huzefa Ahmadi and Nitya Ramakrishnan, appearing for the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, said statements are being made by the highest constitutional authorities, including the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, and demolitions are subsequently being carried out without giving an opportunity to the alleged riot accused to vacate their houses.
The top court was hearing pleas filed by the Muslim body seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no further demolitions of properties of alleged accused of recent violence are carried out in the State.