"Withdraw and initiate new proceeding in plea against notices to protestors damaging public property during anti-CAA protests": SC to UP Govt

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The Supreme Court on Friday suggested Uttar Pradesh government to withdraw notices and initiate new proceedings under the new Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020 for recovering damages for the loss of public property during CAA-NRC protests as the current notices were in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Court in the judgment of In Re Destruction of Public and Private Property vs State of AP and Kodungallur Film Society vs Union of India. 

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant, however, did not pass any order in this regard and asked the AAG of UP,  Garima Prashad, to deliberate on this and make her submissions by February 18.

The bench was hearing a plea seeking direction for quashing and staying notices dated December 2019 sent by the District Administration of the state of Uttar Pradesh to recover damages for the public loss caused to public property by alleged protestors on account of protests in December 2019 against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 [CAA]/NRC.

Earlier, in this regard, the bench had stated that, "Uttar Pradesh Government has enacted a law regarding this, so these notices will go."

The bench raised the issue before the Government that the notices were in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court pertaining to destruction of public and private property (In re: Damage to Public and Private Property vs State of AP & Ors). 

However, Prashad responded stating that, "When notices were issued, the act being cited was not in place."

The bench has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to examine the notices issued and as earlier before the legislation the notices were in contravention of the guidelines issued by the apex court. In addition to this, the bench has orally asked the state to show how the error can be rectified.


The plea alleges that the notices have been issued on the basis of the Allahabad High Court judgment passed in 2010 in the case of Mohammad Shujauddin vs State of Uttar Pradesh, and is in violation of the guidelines passed by this Hon’ble Supreme Court in a judgment passed in 2009 titled as In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties vs Govt. of A.P. [2009] 5 SCC 212.

It further alleges that, "The persons to whom the Notices have been sent, have not been booked under Panel Provisions and no details of FIR or any Criminal Offences have been made out against them."

"There is no detail of any crimes committed by them, this is also against the guidelines by the Hon’ble Supreme Court which say that such persons must be booked under the various penal provisions under IPC and PDPP Act, 1984," the plea added.

The plea has further sought direction to constitute an independent judicial inquiry to probe into the incidents that occurred during the protests against the CAA-NRC in the state of Uttar Pradesh as has been done by the Karnataka High Court in view of recent protests against CAA-NRC.  

Cause Title: Parwaiz Arif Titu vs The State of Uttar Pradesh