Former SC judge criticizes Ujjain house demolition, calls it ‘mockery of law’

In a scathing attack on the Madhya Pradesh administration, former Supreme Court judge Deepak Gupta questioned the power and role of the police in the demolition of a house in Ujjain. While speaking to Indian express, Gupta called it illegal and an act of police state.

On December 26, a day after stones were pelted on men clad in saffron outfits on motorbikes who were a part of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva morcha rally, the house of Abdul Rafeeq was brought down citing it as an illegal structure and a neighbouring house was partly demolished.

It is one of the two houses where the accused resided.  A  CCTV footage captured some people hurling stones on men in saffron outfits on motorbikes and the pelters included women residents of Begum Bagh.

The authorities said that the demolition took place to remove illegal structures and prior notice was served to the house owners.

Speaking on this, Justice Gupta said that despite the valid reasons, the timing of the act makes it illegal and so does the demolition of the house. He also questioned that if the police and the politicians take matters into their hand then what are courts for and what should the common man do? 

This is not an isolated case as a similar incident took place on December 13, where the Bhopal municipal corporation demolished a four-storey building stating illegal construction as the reason. However, the officials later told that it was part of a drive to hunt the drug mafia in the state.

In a similar incident, late in November, parts of a school owned by the Congress MLA Arif Masood was demolished on the outskirts of the city. 

Citing these incidents, Justice Gupta further added that “I hope the Madhya Pradesh high court will take this issue suo motu because these incidents are only increasing.”

Commenting on the demolition, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that “those who support terrorism will not be spared and the law will take its own course’’.  Earlier, an FIR was registered against the MLA for promoting enmity.