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Madhya Pradesh High Court Dismisses PIL Accusing State Of "Demolishing" Houses Of Accused/ Suspects Without Lawful Sanction

Zeeshan Thomas
21 April 2022 10:30 AM GMT
Madhya Pradesh High Court Dismisses PIL Accusing State Of Demolishing Houses Of Accused/ Suspects Without Lawful Sanction
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday dismissed a PIL seeking interference of the Court in the recent spree of demolishing houses and other pukka constructions by police in the State, belonging to people allegedly in conflict of law. Questioning the locus standi of the Petitioner, a practicing advocate, the division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday dismissed a PIL seeking interference of the Court in the recent spree of demolishing houses and other pukka constructions by police in the State, belonging to people allegedly in conflict of law.

Questioning the locus standi of the Petitioner, a practicing advocate, the division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice P.K. Kaurav observed that there was no nexus between him and the people whose properties were demolished. Hence, the Court opined, it was for the people who were directly aggrieved by the demolitions to move the Court-

On considering the contentions and the pleadings, we are of the considered view that it may not be appropriate to entertain this petition as a public interest litigation. Even if the case of the petitioner is to be accepted that certain houses of certain persons have been demolished, necessarily those persons have a legal right to defend themselves and their properties in a manner known to law. We do not see any nexus with the petitioner and the persons whose properties have been demolished. Therefore, it is for those persons to appropriately move the Court for necessary order as they deem fit. We do not find any reason to entertain this petition on behalf of the present petitioner.

The PIL was filed by Mr. Amitabh Gupta, who is a practicing advocate at the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. As per the petition, he was concerned with the 'satanic methods' adopted by the State 'in the name of maintaining law and order and impregnate fear in the minds of the people allegedly in conflict with law'.

The petition mentioned that it had become a routine to come across news of houses and pukka construction belonging to people accused/suspected of a crime, being demolished by police without following any due process of law. The Petitioner had further contended that as per our constitutional and legal framework, the authorities constituted under any law, civil or criminal, could exercise their power to penalise only after following due process of law, which at least involved opportunity of being heard. However, the Petitioner had argued, it was completely incomprehensible in our criminal justice system that house/property of an accused be demolished merely because they were made an accused/suspect for an offence.

Such acts by the State, the petition stated, affected the family of an accused and that by no stretch of imagination can they be made liable to be punished in the aforesaid manner, that too without following due process of law. According to the Petitioner, by doing so, the State was in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petition had prayed for directions of the Court to summon records of the cases wherein the State had demolished houses or other structures belonging to the accused/suspect without authority of law. It had also sought for directions of the Court to the authorities concerned to not take any such action, as mentioned in the petition, by going against the law.

Case Title: AMITABHA GUPTA v. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 119

Appearances: Mr. Amitabh Gupta, Petitioner in Person; Mr. A.A. Bernard, Adl. A.G. for the State

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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