Lucknow, March 18 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a counter-affidavit by March 25 on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance.
The ordinance was hurriedly brought in last week after the High Court and Supreme Court indicted the Yogi Adityanath government, wanting to know under which law it had put up hoardings of anti-CAA protesters accused of damaging property along with their names, photos, and addresses.
The division bench, comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal, on Wednesday listed the matter for hearing on March 27. The PIL has been filed by petitioners Maha Prasad and others.
The petitioners'' counsel pointed out that the ordinance was arbitrary in its very nature as its provisions allowed the persons to be exposed to public, as criminals without their adjudication for any criminal charge.
A similar petition is to come up before the Lucknow bench of the high court on Thursday that has been filed by one of the accused who figures in the Lucknow hoardings - senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib.
Meanwhile, the High Court has asked UP government to file its compliance report by April regarding removal of the anti CAA protesters'' hoardings across Lucknow.
Taking suo moto cognizance of the hoardings, the division bench of Chief Justice Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha, on March 9, had directed the Lucknow District Magistrate and Police Commissioner to immediately remove the hoardings and submit a compliance report with the Registrar General of the High Court by March 16.
However, on March 16 the UP government had sought more time from the court to file a compliance report on the ground that the state government had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against the March 9 High Court order.
The Additional Advocate General had pointed out that the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court where the vacation bench on March 11 had directed it to be referred to a larger bench.