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No illegal bulldozing, SC tells Yogi govt

No illegal bulldozing, SC tells Yogi govt

New Delhi: Stating that "everything should be fair" and authorities should strictly follow the due procedure under the law, the Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Uttar Pradesh government and its authorities three days to respond to pleas which alleged that the houses of those accused in last week's violence were illegally demolished.

"There must be a sense among the citizens that the rule of law prevails in the country," a vacation bench of Justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath said and urged the authorities to ensure nothing untoward happens until it hears the matter on June 21.

"Everything should be fair. We expect the authorities to strictly follow the due procedure under the law," it said.

The bench added: "How do we ensure their safety in the meantime? We have a duty towards them. We should ensure their safety in the meantime. Let us be clear, they (accused) are also part of society. Ultimately, when someone has some grievances, they should get a chance to address them. If this court does not come to their rescue, that would not be appropriate. Everything should look fair."

It also added sternly: "Demolitions have to be in accordance with law, they cannot be retaliatory".

The bench clarified that it cannot stay the demolitions but can only say that such action should be strictly under the due process of law.

Justice Bopanna said: "We as judges are also part of society. We also see what is happening. Sometimes, we also form our impressions."

The top court was hearing pleas filed by the Muslim body — Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind — seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no further demolitions of properties of alleged accused of recent violence are carried out in the state. ATF in Mumbai now costs Rs 1,40,092.74 per kl, while it is priced at Rs 1,46,322.23 in Kolkata and Rs 1,46,215.85 in Chennai. Rates differ from state to state, depending on the incidence of local taxation.

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 96.72 per litre and Rs 89.62 a litre, respectively. An excise duty cut by the government had helped reduce petrol by Rs 8.69 a litre and diesel by Rs 7.05 per litre on May 22, but for that, the base price has remained unchanged since April 6. Before that, prices had risen by a record Rs 10 per litre each.

The retail prices of petrol, diesel and domestic cooking gas are way below the cost.

Petrol and diesel rates are revised daily, based on equivalent rates in the international market.

Fuel rates have been on the rise in India because energy prices globally have risen on the back of supply concerns following, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demand returning after being hit by the pandemic. India is 85 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

To compound things, the rupee has depreciated against the US dollar, making imports costlier.

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