Withdraw Recovery Notices Against Anti-CAA Protestors or We Will: SC to UP Govt

The court asked how the ADMs had been conducting the proceedings contrary to the law laid down by the SC.

3 min read
Hindi Female

The Supreme Court on Friday, 11 February, admonished the Uttar Pradesh government for recovery notices to anti-CAA protestors for alleged damage caused to public properties during the 2019 anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) agitations in the state.

The apex court said the proceedings initiated by the UP government in December 2019 were contrary to the law laid down by the SC, and can not be sustained. The top court gave the state government one final opportunity to withdraw the proceedings.

The SC bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant also warned that it would quash the proceedings as it violated the law.

The bench said that the UP government had acted like a "complainant, adjudicator and prosecutor" by itself when it decided to conduct the proceedings to attach the properties of the accused.

Withdraw the Proceedings, or We Will Quash It: SC

"You have to follow the due process under the law. Please examine this. We are giving one opportunity till 18 February," the bench said. "Withdraw the proceedings, or we will quash it for being in violation of the law laid down by this court."

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by a person named Parwaiz Arif Titu, who is seeking that the notices sent to the alleged protestors by the district administration for recovering losses caused by the damage to public properties during the anti-CAA protests in UP be quashed.

The SC has asked the state to respond to it.

According to the plea, notices have been sent arbitrarily. For example, in one case, a notice has been sent against a person who died six years ago at the age of 94. In another case, notices were sent to two people aged above 90.

Appearing for the UP government, Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad said that "106 FIRs were registered against 833 rioters in the state and 274 recovery notices were issued against them".

"Out of the 274 notices, recovery orders were passed in 236 while 38 cases were closed," she said.

During the hearing the court observed, "The Supreme Court has passed two judgments in 2009 and 2018, which said that judicial officers should be appointed in claim tribunals but instead you appointed ADMs."


If You Are Not Going to Listen, Be Ready to Face Consequences: SC

Justice Surya Kant said, "Madam Prashad, this is just a suggestion. This plea concerns only a set of notices sent in December 2019 in relation to one kind of agitation or protest. You can withdraw them with a stroke of a pen. Two hundred thirty-six notices in a big state like UP is not a big thing. If you are not going to listen, then be ready to face the consequences. We will tell you how the Supreme Court judgments need to be followed".

Justice Chandrachud asked how the ADMs had been conducting the proceedings when the SC had directed that adjudication has to be done by a judicial officer.

Referring to a government order issued in 2011 on the constitution of claim tribunals, the Uttar Pradesh government's counsel said that the high court approved it in its subsequent orders.

She said that the state had notified the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act on 31 August 2020.

Justice Chandrachud said, "We are not concerned with other proceedings. We are concerned with only the notices which have been sent in December 2019 during the CAA protests. You cannot bypass our orders. How can you appoint ADMs, when we had said it should be by judicial officers. Whatever proceedings were conducted in December 2019 was contrary to the law laid down by this court."

The UP government lawyer said that whatever the court has said will be considered.

(With inputs from PTI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More