The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay Allahabad High Court order directing the concerned authorities to remove the posters of those accused persons allegedly involved in vandalism during the anti-CAA protests in Uttar Pradesh. Hearing the Special Leave Petition (SPL) filed by Uttar Pradesh Govt challenging the Allahabad High Court’s order, The apex court told the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government that its decision to put up hoardings identifying anti-CAA protesters had "no backing in law."
The Supreme Court said the matter will be placed for detailed hearing before a three-judge bench.
The apex court observed, and questions the way it (UP Government) had taken this 'drastic' step of putting details of alleged arsonists on hoardings, and said that it can understand the anxiety of the state but there is perhaps no law to back its decision.
“As of now, there is no law that can back your action,” a vacation bench of Justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose told the government.
Submitting his argument for Uttar Pradesh government before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the right to privacy has several dimensions.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the Allahabad High Court had erred in passing the order directing it to remove hoarding of the alleged arsonists protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"Where is that power," Justice Aniruddha Bose asks Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, about the inherent powers which it (UP govt) had, and it invoked against the alleged arsonists in the protests against CAA in Lucknow.
Arguing further, Mehta said a person wielding gun during a protest and allegedly involved in violence, can't claim the right to privacy.
Another lawyer, appearing for one of the accused, stated before Supreme Court that you (UP Govt) don't have the authority of law to put the hoardings like this. "This is a vindictive approach by the state government," the lawyer stated.
Appearing for ex-IPS officer SR Darapuri, Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while citing examples of cases of child rapists and murderers, said - Since when and how do we have in this country a policy to name and shame them? If such a policy exists, a man walking on the streets or roads may be lynched.
The top court is hearing an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging the March 9 order of the Allahabad High Court directing the state adminstration to remove posters of those accused of vandalism during the anti-CAA protests.
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.