UP Fined Anti-Citizenship Law Protesters, It Now Gets A Refund Order

UP Fined Anti-Citizenship Law Protesters, It Now Gets A Refund Order

Supreme Court had earlier told off the Uttar Pradesh government over the notices

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today asked the Uttar Pradesh government to refund fines for damage to property during the 2019 protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The court, however, allowed the state government to initiate fresh action and notices under The Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Bill, 2020. Under the law, protesters found guilty of damaging government and private property may face jail term or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

Earlier, the state government informed the bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant that it had withdrawn recovery notices issued to 274 people in 2019 and also withdrawn legal proceedings against them.

In the last hearing in the case, the court had slammed the Uttar Pradesh government over the recovery notices, which were issued before the law to fine such damage came into force. “Withdraw the proceedings or we will quash it for being in violation of the law laid down by this court,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition by one Parwaiz Arif Titu, who contended that the recovery notices were issued on the basis of a high court judgment that was at odds with a Supreme Court ruling on the same subject.

The Supreme Court had said in that ruling that if the state does not have a legislation to recover damages in such cases, the high court may set up a mechanism to probe such charges.

The Supreme Court had told off the Uttar Pradesh government, saying it had acted like a “complainant, adjudicator and prosecutor” in proceedings to attach properties of the accused.

The plea had also alleged that the notices were issued in an “arbitrary manner”, including a man who had died six years ago and others aged above 90.

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