‘Totally Illegal’: Ex-Allahabad HC Chief Justice on Sunday’s Bulldozer Demolition in Prayagraj
New Delhi: In remarks that could prove significant for all bulldozer demolition cases, especially Sunday’s demolition of Muslim activist Javed Mohammad’s house in Prayagraj, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Govind Mathur, has said the act is “totally illegal.”
“This is totally illegal. Even if you assume for a moment that the construction was illegal, which by the way is how crores of Indians live, it is impermissible that you demolish a house on a Sunday when the residents are in custody. It is not a technical issue but a question of rule of law,” Mathur told The Indian Express.
At present, there are cases against bulldozing of protesters' homes, mainly Muslims, in three courts – Supreme Court, Allahabad HC and Madhya Pradesh High Court.
CJ Mathur’s remarks may have ramifications on all these cases, it is felt.
It may be recalled that it was CJ Mathur, who took suo motu notice of the BJP-led Yogi Aditynath government’s decision in March 2020 to put up hoardings in the city with pictures of anti- CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protesters in a bid to ‘name and shame’ them.
“The court had held that the government’s move was unlawful and violated the right to privacy of the accused”, said the report.
The spate of bulldozing of homes of Muslim protesters under the pretext of “encroachment” has most often preceded protests or religion-related violence, be it Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh or Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. In all three places the demolishing civic authorities are under the control of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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