CAA:Allahabad HC dismiss plea quash notice to recover public loss.

BY : KOSHA DOSHI

Background-

With the nation emerging in flames as protests continue against the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), immense loss has taken place. Similarly, during the protests in Uttar Pradesh during the month of December, 2019 brought forth several cases. One such case is when the Government had issued a show cause notice to the petitioner, Mohammad Kaleem for causing damage during the anti-CAA (Citizen Amendment Act) protests.

The Lucknow Bench on the 9th of February, 2020 dismissed the petition filed by Mohammad Kaleem. The petition was challenging the order passed by the District Administrator of State of Uttar Pradesh against the petitioner in order to recover the damages caused. The damages caused were loss to public as well as private property during the anti-CAA (Citizen Amendment Act) protests.

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Current Issue-

On 19th of December, 2019 protests took place all across the state of Uttar Pradesh. Most parts of Lucknow had severe protest rallies taking place on the same day. As a result of the anti-CAA (Citizen Amendment Act) protests, a number of casualties occurred along with substantial loss to property as well as public. The government public buses, the media coverage vans and vehicles were damaged. The government thereby issued a show cause notice on the 23rd of December,2019.

The case was filed in the Uttar Pradesh High Court at the Lucknow Bench heard by Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Karunesh Singh Pawar. They stated that they could not adjudicate the matter since it was already pending before the supreme court of India, the apex court. The petitioner Mohammad Kaleem sought the High Court to quash the show-cause notice filed against him by the government for damage caused in anti-CAA protests.

Question of Law-

The standing counsel further added that the petition by Mohammad Kaleem was not maintainable under the writ jurisdiction provided through Article 226 of the India constitution. The bench handling the case dismissed the petition stating that if an order was passed against the petitioner, it would be immediately challenged in compliance with the law proceedings.

The government issued a show cause notice under section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act along with under Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention od Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 against the petitioner, Mohammad Kaleem. This notice was challenged in the apex court of India, the Supreme Court in the case of Parwaiz Arif Titu v. State of Uttar Pradesh. The petitioner, Mohammad Kaleem in order to recover pursuant referred to the 2010 verdict of Allahabad High Court for the case of Mouhammed Shujiauddin v. State of Uttar Pradesh. This was contrary to the Supreme Court decision of In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Property v. Government of India in the year 2009.

The Allahabad high court issued guidelines to the state government to initiate the process. The bench stated that the case was sub-judice before the Supreme Court and in such a situation filing of a petition instantly was not maintainable. The Allahabad high court stayed recovery of the show cause notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh state to the petitioner, Mohammad Kaleem.

Conclusion-

The anti-CAA protests have caused immense loss of life and damage to property, about 18 deaths took place thereby. The Allahabad High Court dismissed the petition to quash the show cause notice issued to the petitioner, Mohammad Kaleem for causing loss during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow. The court stated that the state would have a month to file the counter-affidavit and the next hearing would take place in the month of April on 20th.

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