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Highly unjust: Allahabad HC terms banners featuring photos of anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow violation of privacy; ruling expected tomorrow – Firstpost

https://www.firstpost.com/india/highly-unjust-allahabad-hc-terms-banners-featuring-photos-of-anti-caa-protesters-in-lucknow-violation-of-privacy-ruling-expected-tomorrow-8130731.html

The Allahabad High Court on Sunday observed that the Uttar Pradesh government’s action of putting up hoardings featuring names with photographs of those accused of violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a violation of their privacy.

This was after a bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha took suo motu cognisance of the hoardings and asked Lucknow commissioner of police Sujit Pandey and district magistrate Abhishek Prakash to explain the law under which the hoardings were put up. The bench heard the matter in a special sitting, as courts are normally closed on Sundays.

On Thursday, the Lucknow district administration had installed hoardings with photos and addresses of 53 anti-CAA protesters at prominent crossings across the city. According to News18, among those whose pictures have been put up on the posters are Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas, retired IPS officer SR Darapuri and Congress leader Sadaf Jafar.

 Highly unjust: Allahabad HC terms banners featuring photos of anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow violation of privacy; ruling expected tomorrow

A poster featuring names of those accused of violence during anti-CAA protesters in Lucknow. News18

The court on Sunday said that the government’s action of putting up posters of anti-CAA protesters was ‘highly unjust’ and that it was an ‘absolute encroachment’ on the personal liberty of the persons concerned, according to LiveLaw.

The court has reserved its judgment for 2 pm on 9 March (Monday).

‘Posters put up on CM’s directive,’ says govt spokesperson

Some activists who figure in the posters had earlier said they will go to court over the “public humiliation” when the charges against them are yet to be proved.

Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, lashed out at the BJP government for branding the protesters guilty.

A government spokesman said the posters have been up on the chief minister’s directive at important intersections, including the main crossing in the busy Hazratganj area and in front of the Assembly building.

He said the people on the posters are those who had damaged public property under the pretext of protests, and notices have already been issued seeking compensation from them.

The posters say that property of the accused will be confiscated if they fail to pay the compensation.

Sadaf Jafar, who is among those whose photos appear on the posters, termed the move unethical and vowed to take legal recourse. “How can we be publicly humiliated for something that has not yet been proved in court,” she said.

SR Darapuri claimed that the move is illegal. “Our life, property and freedom have been put in jeopardy by putting up these posters and our reputation has been damaged,” he said.

Darapuri added that he is writing to the state home secretary, director general of police and police commissioner, telling them that if they faced any trouble because of the posters, it would the administration’s responsibility.

With inputs from agencies

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