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HC objects to putting up of roadside banners; it is 'deterrent' action: UP govt

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Sunday termed as "highly unjust" the putting up of roadside banners with photographs and information of people asked to pay compensation for damage to property during anti-CAA protests and hoped that they will be removed, but the Uttar Pradesh government asserted that it was a "deterrent" action and the court should not interfere in such a matter.

The court, which had on March 7 taken suo moto cognizance of the issue and asked the district magistrate and divisional commissioner of Lucknow to inform it about the law under which such posters/hoardings were put on the streets of the state capital, on Sunday reserved its order till March 9.

Taking up the matter on Sunday, a bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha termed the action of Uttar Pradesh authorities as "highly unjust" and said it was an absolute encroachment on personal liberty of individuals.

It later adjourned the matter till 3 pm as Additional Advocate General Neeraj Tripathi informed the court that the Advocate General would represent the state government.

As the bench rose, it expressed the hope that "good sense would prevail" on the State and it would remove the hoardings before 3 pm and apprise the court about this at that time.

When the hearing resumed, Advocate General Raghvendra Pratap Singh contended that the court should not interfere in such matter as public interest litigation, as those involved have damaged public and private property.

The Advocate General termed the act of the state government in putting up the posters of alleged CAA protestors as a 'deterrent' so that such incidents of violence are not repeated in the future.

The court then reserved its order till 2 pm on March 9, 2020.

The state police have put up several hoardings across Lucknow identifying those accused of violence during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in December last year.

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