SC Refers To Larger Bench UP Govt’s Appeal Against Order For Removal Of Banners

SC on Thursday heard petition filed by UP Govt challenging the Allahabad HC’s order to immediately remove the banners of CAA protesters.

New Delhi| On Thursday, 12 March, the Supreme Court heard an appeal by the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court order directing the Lucknow administration to remove banners of those accused of vandalism during anti-CAA protests.

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh that its decision to put up hoardings identifying anti-CAA protesters has no backing in law. It, however, did not pass any interim order and said the matter would be heard next week by a three-judge bench.

A vacation bench of Justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, that it is a matter of “great importance”. The bench also asked Mehta whether the state government has the power to put such posters.

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.

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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.

The judges allowed the persons whose photos and details have been put up on the banners to implead themselves in the case and noted that the case should be heard by a larger bench with some urgency. They did not agree to allow ‘unaffected parties’ ie people/organisations who are not named on the posters, to be made part of the case.

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