Prayagraj (UP): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking suspension of or a stay against an ordinance brought by the Yogi Adityanath government for recovering damages to public and private property during protests, bandhs or riots such as those incidents witnessed during anti-CAA protests in the state.
The plea was filed by lawyer Shashank Tripathi on Tuesday, urging the court to issue a writ or direction declaring the ordinance ‘ultra vires’ to the Constitution.
Tripathi in the plea has referred to the questions asked by the HC and the Supreme Court in the ‘name and shame’ hoardings episode.
“To evade from justifying itself from court of law, the State has played mischief upon the Constitution,” he argued.
The state government on Sunday notified the “Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance, 2020”, promulgated by Governor Anandiben Patel.
The state cabinet on Friday had cleared the ordinance.
The PIL says the ordinance under question is in contradiction with the ordinance-making power of the state provided under Article 213 of Constitution.
The ordinance talks about judicial activity, but without procedural and functional safeguard required by law, the plea says.
The Uttar Pradesh government will use the stringent new law to recover compensation from those who damage public and private property during protests and riots.
Claims for compensation will now be decided by designated ‘Claims Tribunals’ that will be authorized to investigate complaints and assess the damage.
As per the ordinance, the owner of any private property or the head of the office concerned, in respect of public property, may file claims for compensation within three months of any incident that causes any damage during public protests, bandhs or riots. The claim can cite as respondents those who “exhort” or “instigate” or “committed” acts that caused the damage, as well as those named by the police.
Every order or award passed by the Claims Tribunal would be “final” and no appeal against such orders would be “maintainable” before any court. Also, no civil court will have the jurisdiction to entertain any questions on the claims.