The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress on Monday welcomed the Allahabad High Court’s order directing the Uttar Pradesh government to remove posters with names, addresses and pictures of anti-Citizenship Act protestors in Lucknow, PTI reported.
The Congress said the order had “exposed the undemocratic and anti-Constitution stand” of the Adityanath government.
“The BSP welcomes the High Court’s order directing the administration to remove hoardings of those accused of violence during the anti-CAA protests,” party chief Mayawati said in a tweet.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the people of Uttar Pradesh were fed up with the government. “The government neither has the knowledge of right to privacy of citizens nor any respect for the Constitution,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said the court’s decision showed that the government had ignored the protestors’ fundamental right to privacy. Lallu said that it was up to the court to decide whether the protestors were involved in violence or not. “No charges have been proved against anyone yet,” he added.
Activist-politician Sadaf Jafar and former Indian Police Service officer SR Darapuri, two prominent faces of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state, had also appeared on the posters. Calling the order a landmark judgement, Jafar said that it reaffirmed her faith in the Constitution and the judiciary. “It also sends a strong signal to the government that the state shall be run not by the authoritarianism, but by the rule of law,” she said. “The damage they wanted to do to us is already done and the danger to our lives is not over yet.” Darapuri said that the order is “a victory of democracy and defeat of dictatorship”.
The High Court said the hoardings constituted an “unwarranted interference in privacy” and was a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. On the state government’s claim that the High Court lacked territorial jurisdiction as the matter arose in Lucknow, the bench said the reason for its involvement was not about “personal injury” to those named in the hoardings, but “the injury caused to the precious constitutional value and its shameless depiction by the administration”.
Last week, the Lucknow administration had put up photos, names and addresses of 53 people at several locations in Lucknow on Adityanath’s order. Apart from Jafar and Darapuri, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, human rights defender Mohammed Shoaib and theatre personality Deepak Kabir had been named.