TDN World Desk: Former Supreme Court judge speaks up aginst the UP government’s attempt to root out protests through ‘retaliation’.
Markandey Katju termed the sealing of properties of the ‘rioters’ during the anti-CAA protests as ‘illegal’.

Through a long FB post the former Chairman of Press Council of India said that there is no provision uder the IPC 147 that allows the executive authorities such as DM or SDM to seal and confiscate properties of the accused without proper trial and conviction.

The former Supreme Court judge said that rioters who damage property can certainly be made to pay for it as a fine as under the section 147 IPC, but that can only be done “legally only after a trial, in which they are given an opportunity of hearing, and by a court order, not by an order of an executive authority”.

“Section 147 of the IPC states ‘Whoever is guilty of rioting shall be punished with imprisonment of either description, which may extend to two years or with fine or with both’. There is no legal provision for immediate sealing or confiscating the property of the alleged rioters, and that too without holding a trial in which the accused get an opportunity of putting up their defence with the assistance of counsel in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Katju said.

In Muzaffarnagar Yogi Adityanath government sealed 67 shops accusing the owners of taking part in the anti-CAA protests and damaging properties. In other parts of UP same formula have been applied. People were notified to pay for the damages.

Yogi Adityanath’s however, was criticised for communalising the CAA protests. In an opinion story, Washington Post dubbed him as ‘Millitant Monk’.