Supreme Court’s intervention sought to halt illegal demolitions in Uttar Pradesh

The application, filed in the Supreme Court, alleges that in complete disregard of the principles of natural justice as also the municipal law,  several properties were demolished without giving an adequate opportunity of a hearing to the affected persons and families. 


JAMIAT Ulama-I-Hind, a leading organization of Islamic scholars belonging to the Deobandi school of thought in India, has approached the Supreme Court against the demolition of private properties by the Uttar Pradesh government, allegedly in breach of the rule of law and municipal laws. Of the two applications, the one mainly deals with the demolition drive in the Kanpur district. The petitioner fears that the threat of demolition of more properties is imminent and thus it is imperative that immediate action is taken by the Court in order to prevent violation of the rule of law and the rights of the accused persons.

The Jamiat has urged the court to ensure that demolition is carried out in UP with adequate notice and that an opportunity of a hearing is given to each of the affected persons. Besides, it seeks action against the concerned officials for demolishing houses in breach of the law.

The two applications have been filed in a pending main petition filed by Jamiat in April this year against the illegal demolition drive in various parts of the country, in which, the Supreme Court in May issued a notice.  The application alleges that in complete disregard of the principles of natural justice as also the municipal law pertaining to the demolition of properties, several properties were demolished without giving an adequate opportunity of hearing to the affected persons/ families.

“That even as per the laws enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State, the affected persons are entitled to a reasonable opportunity of hearing before any such demolish is carried out. As per Section 10 of the Uttar Pradesh (Regulation of Building Operations) Act, 1958, demolition of a building shall not be undertaken unless the affected person is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Further, Section 27 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973 also requires that the affected person be heard before proceeding with the demolition and be given at least 15 days’ notice. Moreover, as per the aforementioned Act of 1973, a person aggrieved with the order of demolition is entitled to appeal against it to the Chairman within a period of 30 days of the order. Hence, the demolition of properties carried out by the state government in retaliation was in breach of the laws enacted by the state legislature itself”, the application reads.

Last week, clashes broke out in Kanpur over remarks made on the Prophet at a TV debate some days earlier. Last Friday, incidents of stone-pelting at police personnel in Prayagraj and Saharanpur were reported after Friday prayers in at least four other cities in Uttar Pradesh over a now-suspended BJP leader’s recent remarks on Prophet Mohammad.

On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh administration demolished the house of Mohammad Javed, a political activist and businessman, after serving just a day’s notice to vacate the house. The demolition happened in the presence of Prayagraj District Magistrate Sanjay Khatri and Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar. Javed is the father of student activist Afreen Fatima. The district police had on Saturday arrested 54-year-old Javed and claimed he was one of the conspirators behind Friday’s violence in Prayagraj.

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