In the case of installing hoardings of anti-CAA protesters with their picture, name and addresses at major road intersections in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh government on March 16 sough more time to file compliance report at the Allahabad High Court.
Earlier on March 9, a division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha had taken suo moto cognisance of hoardings, and had directed the Lucknow District Magistrate (DM) and the Police Commissioner to immediately remove the hoardings. The bench had also asked the administration to submit a compliance report with the Registrar General of the HC by March 16.
The affidavit was presented by additional advocate general Neeraj Tripathi, who was appearing on behalf of the state government in a sealed envelope on Monday. The affidavit requested the Registrar General for time instead of the compliance report that the Allahabad HC had sought.
As per reports, the affidavit pointed out that the state government had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against the March 9 HC order asking for the removal of the hoarding. The affidavit requested for more time on grounds that the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court where the Vacation Bench on March 11 had directed it to be referred to a larger bench.
It remains to be seen how long the HC will grant to the Yogi Adityanath government to file its compliance report after the March 16 deadline has been crossed.
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Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer-turned-activist and a prominent face of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Uttar Pradesh, SR Darapuri whose name and picture has also appeared on the hoardings by the UP government, told NewsClick, "Now the Allahabad Hight Court has to decide whether they will give any further time to the government or not. But as the issue is further delayed there is an equally increasing risk to both life and property."
"The Chief Minister yesterday linked novel coronavirus to the anti-CAA 'rioters' and said we are more dangerous than coronavirus. This is how he is inviting and provoking people openly lynching to all of us,” he added.
Comparing the anti-CAA protesters whose photographs and addresses have been put up on hoardings in Lucknow to coronavirus, UP CM Yogi Adityanath had on Monday said that such people were enemies of humanity. He had said, “Coronavirus ke khilaf poori duniya mil ke lad rahi hai aur poore samaj ko bhi in logon ko pehchanna hoga aur inke khilaf phir inki vastivikta ko samaj ke saamne rakhna hoga. Dono samaj ke liye khatarnak hain aur dono ke khilaf mil kar ladna hoga. (The whole world is fighting the coronavirus but society also needs to recognise these people and expose them. Both are dangerous for society and we have to fight against both).”
Another activist and actor Sadaf Jafar, whose name had also been displayed in the hoardings, said if this government had respected the law then they would not have displayed the pictures and name of the people. "Neither in any law nor under CrPC (code of criminal procedure) is it legal to put up posters/hoardings about anyone, displaying his/her address and picture. There is no value of the High Court or the Supreme Court in their eyes. At a time when it has not yet been confirmed by the court who are "rioters", the Chief Minister and his party leaders from the Assembly and Parliament are provoking people for lynching those who have been named in the hoardings. The Chief Minister himself said that we are more dangerous than coronavirus," she added.
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"Even after Allahabad High Court's order to remove the 'name and shame' hoardings, the Yogi government put up new a hoarding at Parivartan Chowk recently," Jafar claimed.
Commenting over the Development, Piyush Mishra, the advocate for activist Deepak Kabir, whose picture has also appeared on the hoardings by the UP government, told NewsClick, "It is a contempt of court and Allahabad High Court should not give time to them and should strictly ask them to first remove the hoarding and then take time for further legal issues. When the HC has ordered the removal of the hoardings and the Supreme Court has not stayed the HC order, then why are they not removing? The HC should deal strictly now as its getting late.”
On March 5, the UP government had put up several hoardings across Lucknow, identifying 57 accused of violence during the anti-CAA protests that took place last December.