Ordinance cleared by Yogi cabinet to recover damages caused during riots, demonstrations
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Friday approved an ordinance that will allow the state’s authorities to recover losses to public and private property caused during riots, demonstrations, political processions and illegal agitations.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath presided over the cabinet meeting that approved the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Properties Ordinance-2020 .
“The cabinet has approved the ordinance having provisions for recovery of damages caused to public or private properties during any agitation,” minister for parliamentary affairs Suresh Khanna told reporters.
The state government received a rebuke on Monday from the Allahabad high court for putting up hoardings containing the names, photos and addresses of purported rioters in Lucknow who took part in the violent demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from whom compensation has been sought for damage to property. On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to refer to a larger bench a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government against the order.
Khanna said the Supreme Court had in the past observed that a strict law was needed to check damage to public and private property during political processions, illegal demonstrations, strikes and agitations. Her said the SC had asked for videos, investigations and setting up of claims tribunals for recovery of damages, adding that the cabinet had unanimously approved the new ordinance. No further details about the provisions of the new law were available.
The state cabinet has apparently taken the ordinance route to empower the government to put up hoardings/posters of protesters at public places and recover damages.
Khanna said rules pertaining to such issues would be drafted. He said the rules would be notified once approved by the cabinet.
Uttar Pradesh government spokesman and cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said the state government had so far been was seeking to recover damages through a government order.
He said the cabinet thanked Adityanath for his decision to take the issue of erecting public hoardings to the Supreme Court.
Samajwadi Party state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary called the ordinance “undemocratic and draconian”. Chaudhary said: “The step smacks of misuse of power.”