“We can’t stay demolitions. We can say go in accordance with law,” the judges said and asked the Uttar Pradesh government for its reply.
New Delhi: Although the Supreme Court did not stay the demolitions, on Thursday, the apex court said the demolitions being carried out in Uttar Pradesh “have to be in accordance with law, they cannot be retaliatory”.
“We can’t stay demolitions. We can say go in accordance with law,” the judges said and asked the Uttar Pradesh government for its reply. The court also asked Prayagraj and Kanpur authorities to reply to the court on the demolition drive being carried out.
Justice A S Bopanna noted, “The respondents (UP government) will get time for their objections. We should ensure their (affected parties) safety in the meantime. Let’s be clear, they’re also a part of society, ultimately, when someone has a grievance, they have a right to have it addressed.”
The vacation bench of Justices Bopanna and Vikram Nath had taken up the case after former judges and senior advocates wrote to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana to take note of the alleged incidents of “illegal detention, bulldozing of homes and police action” on those protesting against the comments on the Prophet.
The court was hearing a plea by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind which had approached the Supreme Court asking it to act against officials responsible for what they called the “illegal” demolition of houses.
Following violent protests in several places of Uttar Pradesh over ousted BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments on Prophet Muhammad, the Uttar Pradesh government had begun to demolish properties of the accused who took part in the violence.
Last Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh government had demolished the home of Javed Ahmed, the main accused of the Prayagraj violence. The district administration of Prayagraj had stepped up security in the area during the demolition of the building.