22 Jun 2022 6:09 AM GMT
The State of Uttar Pradesh has submitted before the Supreme Court that the recent demolitions carried out in Kanpur and Prayagraj were done by Local Development Authorities strictly in accordance with the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973. The submissions have been made by the State through its affidavit filed response to the applications filed by Jamiat...
The State of Uttar Pradesh has submitted before the Supreme Court that the recent demolitions carried out in Kanpur and Prayagraj were done by Local Development Authorities strictly in accordance with the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973.
The submissions have been made by the State through its affidavit filed response to the applications filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind which alleged that the demolitions were selective actions targeting the minority community for protests in relation to the remarks on Prophet Muhammed.
The State has submitted that the Petitioner has "cherry picked" two demolition actions of illegal constructions in the properties of one Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad and one Mr. Riyaz Ahmed that took place in Kanpur in an attempt to falsely link the same to the rioting.
The State has however further submitted that in both cases, certain portions of the two illegal/ non-compliant structures in question took place and that both buildings were under construction, not in conformity with the permission granted and most importantly, proceedings under the Urban Planning Act against the two buildings had been initiated by the Kanpur Development Authority long before the incidents of rioting.
"The Petitioner has deliberately obfuscated the true facts to paint a nefarious picture of alleged mala fides on the part of the Administration, and that too, without stating any facts on affidavit. The lA merit to be dismissed with costs on this ground alone." the State has submitted
With regard to the Prayagraj demolition, the State has submitted that it was only after due service and providing adequate opportunity under Section 27 of the Act that the illegal construction was demolished by the Prayagraj Development Authority after following due process of law and the same had no relation to the incident of rioting.
The State's affidavit produces the show-cause notices stated to have been served on the property owners as annexures.
The State has submitted that the demolitions have been carried out by the Kanpur and Prayagraj Development Authorities, which are statutory autonomous bodies, independent of the State administration, as per law as part of their routine effort against unauthorised/illegal constructions and encroachments, in accordance with the UP Urban Planning and Development Act, 1972.
The affidavit has stated that the said Development Authorities are autonomous statutory bodies established under the said Act that carry out enforcement proceedings independently on the facts of each case in accordance with the provisions of the said Act.
The State has argued that the petitioner has attempted to give a mala fide colour to lawful action taken by the local development authorities as per procedure established by law by cherry picking one sided media reporting of a few incidents and extrapolating sweeping allegations from the same against the State.
The Government has further stated that it has taken strong exception to the attempt by the Petitioner to name the highest constitutional functionaries of the State and falsely colour the local development Authority's lawful actions strictly complying with the UP Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, as "extra legal punitive measures"against accused persons, targeting any particular religious community.
While calling all such allegations absolutely false, the State has urged the court to also hold the Petitioner to terms for the said false allegations without basis before the Supreme Court.
According to the State, the present interim applications seek an omnibus relief where final relief has been claimed in the Writ Petition itself and hence there is no occasion to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the present applications.
The State has submitted that none of the actual affected parties, if any, have approached the Court in relation to the lawful demolition actions. According to the State, the Supreme Court in a recent writ petition filed by a political party with respect to alleged demolitions in Shaheen Bagh, noted that only the affected party and not political parties should come forward, and allowed withdrawal of the petition.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court on June 16th orally asked the Uttar Pradesh government not to carry out demolition activities except in accordance with the procedure established by law.
The court also granted three days' time to the State, to demonstrate how the recent demolitions were in compliance with the procedural and municipal laws.
Case Title: Jamiat Ulama I Hind & Anr v UOI & Ors| WP(Crl) 162/2022