Demolitions according to law, not related to protests: up to the Supreme Court

Denying allegations of illegal demolition of private property in the state after violent protests over remarks about the Prophetgovernment of uttar pradesh told the Supreme Court this action was “carried out by the Kanpur Development Authority and the Prayagraj Development Authority in strict accordance with the Uttar Pradesh Planning and Development Act 1972” and “had no connection with the riots”.

In an affidavit filed in response to a Advocacy of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the demolitions, the state government said: “The petitioner attempted to color in bad faith lawful actions taken by the local development authorities, in accordance with the procedure established by law, by choosing reports unilateral media reports on a few incidents and extrapolating sweeping allegations of the same against the state…The same, it is submitted, is completely false and misleading.The said demolitions were carried out by local development authorities, who are self-governing statutory bodies, independent of the state administration, in accordance with the law, in their routine effort against unauthorized/illegal constructions, in accordance with the law of 1972.

Regarding two demolitions in Kanpur, the UP government said the owners of the houses had “admitted” illegalities in the construction.

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind had referred to statements by some state officials to support its accusation that the demolitions targeted those allegedly involved in the protests.

Prayagraj: Security personnel keep watch during the demolition of the residence of Javed Ahmed, a local leader believed to be the main conspirator of the violent protests against the now-suspended BJP leadership’s remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, in Prayagraj on Sunday June 12, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Against this, the UP government said it “strongly opposes the petitioner’s attempt to appoint the highest constitutional officials of the state and to misrepresent the color…legal actions of the authority local development projects strictly in accordance with the law as ‘extra-legal punitive measures’ against accused persons, targeting a particular religious community. All of these allegations are absolutely false and are vehemently denied”.

“Insofar as it takes action against people accused of rioting, the state government takes strict action against them under a completely different set of laws,” he said, quoting the CRPC , IPC, UP Gangster and anti-social activities (Prevention of Damages to Public Property Damages Act, 1986, Prevention of Public Property Damages Act and Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020.

Listing specific cases, the affidavit stated that in the case of Ishtiaq Ahmed in Kanpur, “commercial construction works were in progress on the basement, ground floor, first, second and third floors of the building in a residential area of ​​about 130 square meters, contrary to the plan that was sanctioned for the building on 6.7.2016.

According to the affidavit, Ishtiaq Ahmed received a demonstration notice on August 17, 2020, to stop construction and appear for a hearing on August 28. But neither he nor his representative showed up for the hearing, after which “several notices” were sent. and the property was sealed. The seal was broken, following which an FIR was filed.

“The construction…was done on the site in violation of the builder’s approved two-storey residential construction plan. Commercial construction was also done against the approved residential map,” he said, adding that a demolition notice was sent on April 19 this year, giving the home owner 15 days to demolish. unauthorized construction. Since he did not comply, parts of the building were demolished on June 11, the affidavit states.

In a petition filed on June 17, Ishtiaq Ahmed’s son, Iftikar Ahmed, said that “the non-composable part of the construction will be demolished by the dependent himself…Thus, the offense of illegal construction was admitted by the builder himself,” the affidavit said.

In the case of Riyaz Ahmed in Kanpur, according to the affidavit, he was undertaking works to install a petrol pump “without any sanction or approval from the authority”. A Notice was issued on February 18, followed by a Notice of Appearance on February 23 setting a hearing for March 8. However, as he failed to appear at the hearing, the premises were ordered to be sealed and a demolition order was issued on 20 April. Subsequently, part of the perimeter wall under construction was removed on June 11, the affidavit states.

Subsequently, Riyaz Ahmed filed a request for construction aggravation on June 17 along with an affidavit “in which the illegality and irregularity of the building were admitted by the owner”, he said. .

“Thus, a review of the above facts reveals that two cases of removal of unauthorized illegal constructions in Kanpur by the Kanpur Development Authority on June 11 were part of the ongoing demolition campaign against encroachments and illegal constructions and n had no connection to the riots as falsely alleged by the petitioner. The petitioner deliberately obscured the true facts to paint a nefarious picture of alleged bad faith on the part of the administration, and this also without stating any facts on affidavit the state government said.

In the case of Javed Mohammed in Prayagraj, the state government said an action for “unlawful construction without any sanction… (and) unauthorized use of residential land as an office had been brought before the incidents of riots”.

“A marble nameplate was installed on the boundary wall of the building on which ‘Javed M’ was written, and above the boundary was a sign showing ‘India Welfare Party’ on which the name of Mr. Javed Mohammed, Secretary General of the State, was inscribed,” the affidavit reads.

The Prayagraj Development Authority has received several complaints from residents of the area “regarding unauthorized use of offices in a residential area as well as illegal constructions and encroachments on the said property”, it said.

A demo notice was posted on May 10, granting a personal hearing on May 24. “The notice was attempted to be delivered in person at the premises; however, the waiter advised that although family members were present at the venue, they refused to take the notice,” the affidavit states, following which the notice was pasted on the wall of the building.

Neither Javed Mohammed nor his representative showed up for the hearing, and he was asked to demolish the unauthorized construction within 15 days, by June 9, he added.

“It was only after due service and providing adequate opportunity under the law that the illegal construction was demolished by the Prayagraj Development Authority on June 12, after following due process regularly, and it had nothing to do with a rioting incident,” he said. .

The state government urged the court to “hold the petitioner to the terms of said baseless false allegations” and dismiss the petition.

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