New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought an affidavit from the Uttar Pradesh government within three days about bulldozer demolitions carried out in the state. The Apex court was hearing a petition alleging that the government has been targeting a particular community and bulldozing its members’ homes. The petitioners also claimed that they were not provided prior notice of the destruction.
The plea was filed by Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind seeking the help of the court to stop the Uttar Pradesh authorities to ensure that no further demolition of properties should take place in the state without following due process.
According to advocate Nitya Ramakrishna, bulldozing cannot be used as a form of criminal justice. The highest officials are saying, “You come out and we will take action.” Stepping out of the court, she later said: “SC has mentioned that demolitions cannot be retaliatory and the rule of law must be followed.”
The government claimed that no laws were breached during the demolitions and denied the claim that notices were not served before the bulldozers were used.
The SC said that it was not asking for all actions to stop. “However, all such actions must be within the ambit of the law,” it said.
“The government will get time to file its objections. We should ensure their [petitioners’] safety in the meantime. They’re also part of the society. When someone has a grievance, they have a right to have it addressed. Such demolitions can only happen as per law. We’ll hear the case next week,” the court said.
The government’s affidavit will have to include information about the notices it has sent and the actions it has taken. On June 21, the case will be heard again.