7 Aug 2023 3:12 PM GMT
While staying the demolition drive carried out by the Haryana authorities in communal violence-hit Nuh and Gurugram, the Punjab & Haryana High Court made certain strong critical observations.The Court stated that its has come to its notice that the "State of Haryana is using force and is demolishing buildings on account of the fact that some riots have occurred in Gurugram...
While staying the demolition drive carried out by the Haryana authorities in communal violence-hit Nuh and Gurugram, the Punjab & Haryana High Court made certain strong critical observations.
The Court stated that its has come to its notice that the "State of Haryana is using force and is demolishing buildings on account of the fact that some riots have occurred in Gurugram and Nuh".
"Apparently, without any demolition orders and notices, the law and order problem is being used as a ruse to bring down buildings without following the procedure established by law", the Court observed.
Further, the Court made a serious observation whether the buildings belonging to a particular community in Nuh & Gurgaon are being brought down by the authorities under the guise of law and order problem and an exercise of “ethnic cleansing is being conducted by the State".
“The issue also arises whether the buildings belonging to a particular community are being brought down under the guise of law and order problem and an exercise of ethnic cleansing is being conducted by the State,” said the division bench of Justice G.S Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan.
The Court took suo motu cognizance of news paper reports regarding the ongoing demolition drive in Nuh,Gurgaon which followed the communal clashes. Authorities have reportedly demolished several 'illegal' shanties, temporary shops and certain concrete structures, allegedly belonging to persons involved in communal violence which happened last week.
The Court noted that today's news item carried in the "Times of India' and ‘The Indian Express' would go on to show that demolitions are being carried out in two districts i.e. Nuh and Gurugram. The action is stated to be on account of the fact that the individuals involved in the anti social activities had made illegal constructions, it added.
The newspaper reports quoted the Home Minister himself as saying that that bulldozers are part of illaj (treatment) since the Government is probing communal violence. Referring to the Home Minister's statement, the Court remarked that, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Considering the allegations, the bench said, “It is in such circumstances, we are constrained to issue notice to State as it has come to our notice that the State of Haryana is using force and is demolishing buildings on account of the fact that some riots have occurred in Gurugram and Nuh.”
The Court observed that, “We are of the considered opinion that the Constitution of India protects the citizens of this country and no demolitions as such can be done without following the procedure prescribed in law.”
It issued directions to the State of Haryana to furnish an affidavit as to how many buildings have been demolished in last two weeks, both in Nuh and Gurugram and whether any notice was issued before demolition. “If any such demolition is to be carried out today, it should be stopped if the procedure is not followed as per law,” it added.
While posting the matter for August 11 for further consideration, the Court said, “We request Mr. Kshitij Sharma, Advocate to assist us on the issue involved and he is appointed as amicus curiae for the said purpose.”
BR Mahajan, Advocate General of Haryana and Sruti Jain Goyal, Senior DAG, accepted notice on behalf of the State Government,
Case Title: Court on its own Motion v. State of Haryana
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (PH) 138
Click here to read the order