"To relegate the petitioner to raise his objections as to the jurisdiction/competency of the notice issuing authority would be an exercise in sheer futility as the Apex Court is in seisin with the issue."
The Allahabad High Court has granted ad-interim protection to a petitioner from Kanpur who was served recovery notice by the UP Government to compensate the damage caused to public property, during the anti-CAA protests.
The division bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery has stayed the notice, since the legality of such notices is already under question before the Supreme Court.
The Petitioner had submitted that the impugned notice had been issued by the ADM, in purported exercise of the Rules framed by the State Government whereas in In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties v. Govt. of Appellant, (2009) 5 SCC 212, the Supreme Court had unequivocally provided that power either to the serving/retired High Court Judge or retired District Judge as a Claims Commissioner.
A division bench of the Supreme Court is also hearing a similar challenge to the recover notices in a writ petition titled Parwaiz Arif Titu v. State of UP.
Therefore, the high court has stayed the operation of the impugned notice till the next date of hearing, subject to outcome of the proceedings before the Supreme Court.
"We are of the view that the Rules under which impugned notice has been issued is under challenge before the Apex Court, therefore the ends of justice demand that the effect and operation of the impugned notice is put in abeyance till the issue is determined by the Apex Court.
Till the next date of listing the effect/operation of the notice dated 04.01.2020 shall remain stayed. This ad interim protection is subject to final outcome of the order of the Hon'ble Apex Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 55/2020," the order read.
The December 19, 2019 protests in the state caused many causalities and substantial loss to public and private property, including Govt. buses, media vans, motor bikes, etc.
Thereafter, the state govt. of UP issued show cause notices under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and under Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, to those allegedly involved in the protests.
Citing pendency of the Supreme Court proceedings, the Lucknow Bench of the high court had dismissed a petition challenging these notices earlier this week.
The matter has been posted for further consideration on April 20.
Advocate Ali Zaidi has appeared for the petitioner.
Case Title: Mohd. Faizan v. State Of UP & Ors.
Case No.: Crl. Misc. WP No. 1927/2020
Quorum: Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery
Appearance: Advocate Ali Qambar Zaidi on behalf of Advocate Maha Prasad (for Petitioner); AGA Manju Thakur (for State)