The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday approved the UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance, 2020, PTI reported. The ordinance deals with damage to government and private property during political processions.
The government’s move came a day after the Supreme Court told it that there was no law against putting up hoardings with names, photographs and addresses of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors. A two-judge vacation bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court order to remove the hoardings in Lucknow.
Chief Minister Adityanath chaired a cabinet meeting on Friday evening, where the decision was taken.
“The cabinet has approved UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance-2020 for recovery of losses of government and private properties during political processions, illegal agitations,” Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Kumar Khanna told reporters. Khanna said the ordinance was approved based on a Supreme Court order that the government constitute a recovery tribunal to recover property losses.
Cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said prior to the ordinance, the recovery of damages was done via a government order. He claimed that during the cabinet meeting, all ministers praised the chief minister for his decision “to approach Supreme Court as it will help prevent incidents of vandalism and damage of properties in future.”
The Supreme Court had on Thursday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court verdict, but referred the matter to a three-judge regular bench.
The hoardings had photos, names and addresses of 53 people, including activist Sadaf Jafar, former bureaucrat SR Darapuri, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, human rights activist Mohammed Shoaib and theatre personality Deepak Kabir.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The Act, passed on December 11, has been criticised for excluding Muslims. In December, at least 28 people died in protests against the Act, 19 of them in Uttar Pradesh itself. Most of those who died had suffered bullet-inflicted wounds.