[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Allahabad High Court on March 6 stayed an order issued by the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Bijnor seeking recovery of damages from four persons accused of damaging properties in clashes which erupted during a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December 2019.
A division bench of Justices Manoj Mishra and Deepak Verma also issued to the Uttar Pradesh Government and fixed April 20 as the next date of hearing.
Former Bijnor civic body chairman Javed Aftab along with three others Parvez Aftab, Shahadat Ali and Mirza Zeeshan Beg had approached the High Court against the recovery orders.
In its order, the Court noted that “apart from factual aspects, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the issue as to whether proceedings for recovery of damages on ground of damage to public property could be drawn by an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate is engaging attention of the Apex Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No.55 of 2020 (Parwaiz Arif Titu V. State of U.P.) and notices have been issued to the State to submit their response to the challenge laid to the guidelines on the ground that it is in the teeth of the decision of the Apex Court in Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties Vs. Govt. of A.P., (2009) 5 SCC 212 wherein it was observed that till such time legislation in that regard is put in place, a serving or retired District Judge is to act as a Claims Commissioner”.
Counsel for the petitioners relied upon the interim order passed by the Allahabad High Court on February 14, staying a similar recovery notice issued to a Kanpur man for damages done to public property.
The court in the present case, therefore, noted that “as a co-ordinate Bench of this Court has entertained a challenge to the notice in Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No.1927 of 2020 and has invited a response from the State and the matter is also engaging the attention of the Apex Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No.55 of 2020, we deem it appropriate to connect this matter with Criminal Misc. Writ (Civil) No.55 of 2020 and require the State-respondents to file their respective counter-affidavits”.
Read the order here: