Setback for UP Government as Allahabad HC orders removal of banners containing personal details of accused in anti CAA protests

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Allahabad High Court today ordered the removal of the hoardings surfaced in Lucknow showing names, photos and addresses of those accused of instigating violence during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests.

High Court further ordered that the State of Uttar Pradesh would not place such banners on roadside containing personal data of individuals without having the authority of law.

It has also sought a  report of satisfactory compliance is required to be submitted by the District Magistrate, Lucknow to the Registrar General of this Court on or before March 16, 2020.

“On receiving such compliance report, the proceedings of this petition shall stand closed”, said High Court.

A division comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Ramesh Sinha said hoardings surfaced in Lucknow showing names, photos and addresses of those accused of violence during anti-CAA protests is nothing but an unwarranted interference in privacy of people. The same is, hence, violation of Article 21.

The court noted that the placement of personal data of selected persons “reflects colorable exercise of powers by the Executive.

The court observed that “In our country, where privacy is not explicitly recognized as a fundamental right in the constitution, the Courts have found such right protected as an intrinsic part of life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”.

“This fundamental right provides lungs to the edifice of our entire constitutional system. A slightest injury to it is impermissible as that may be fatal for our values designed and depicted in the preamble of the constitution”, the court asserted.

On the lack of territorial jurisdiction argument put by UP Govt, the HC “the cause is not about personal injury caused to the persons whose personal details are given in the banner but the injury caused to the precious constitutional value and its shameless depiction by the administration. The cause as such is undemocratic functioning of government agencies which are supposed to treat all members of public with respect and courtesy and at all time should behave in manner that upholds constitutional and democratic values”.

The Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on March 8 had taken suo moto cognizance of the decision of putting hoardings with personal details of those accused in the violence during a protest against CAA in Lucknow.

During the hearing held yesterday, the High Court expressed its displeasure at the action of the state government and pulled up the authorities for putting up the hoarding.


Read the order here: