UP govt reaches SC to challenge high court bar on ‘name and shame’ posters
The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear a petition filed by Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad high court decision ordering removal of hoardings containing photos and other personal details of anti-CAA protesters.
A vacation bench of justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose will hear the petition.
The high court had on Monday ordered Lucknow’s District Magistrate and Commissioner of Police to remove these hoardings. The court said the state’s action “violates” Article 21 of Constitution and is an infringement of privacy.
“Privacy is an intrinsic part of right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and the actions of the state government amount to an unwarranted interference into it,” a bench of chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Ramesh Sinha had ruled.
The DM was directed to submit a compliance report in the court on or before March 16, and the proceedings will stand closed when it is filed.
The court also took a strong view of the state government’s argument that the matter should not have been taken up suo motu by way of a public interest litigation. “Courts are meant to impart justice and no court can shut its eyes if a public unjust is happening just before it,” the order had said.
The Allahabad High Court had further observed that the accused persons were not fugitives, and there was no necessity in a democratic society to publish personal data and identity of the accused, especially when the state government has already sought recovery of compensation from such people.
Twenty-one people died in the violence over three days (December 19-21) across Uttar Pradesh, according to government data. There is no data available on whether there were any deaths in police firing. Similarly, there is no estimate available on damages to properties. The police have registered around 300 first information reports (FIRs) and arrested some 1,200 people.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had last week put up several hoardings across Lucknow, identifying those accused of violence during the protests. The hoardings carried names, photographs and residential addresses of the accused, leading to concerns over their safety. The accused were also asked to pay for the damage to public and private property within a stipulated time, or have their properties seized by the district administration.