The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has not removed the controversial hoardings, naming and shaming those accused of violence during protests against the citizenship laws, despite the high court order.
Sources said that the Chief Minister has asked the law officials to prepare a petition challenging the high court order. The petition would be filed later this week. The Allahabad High Court, on Monday, had said that the government's move to display photographs and personal details of the accused on roadside hoardings was 'an unwarranted interference in privacy'.
Asking the government to remove the posters 'forthwith', the court had asked it to submit a compliance report to the registrar general by March 16.
Mr. Shalabh Mani Tripathi, media advisor to the Chief Minister said, 'We are examining the Allahabad High Court order. It is being examined on what basis the order was passed to remove the posters. Our experts are examining it.'
He added, 'The government will decide what option to go for. The Chief Minister has to take the decision... But it is a fact that none of the people, who damaged public properties, will be spared.'
Another media adviser, Mr. Mritunjay Kumar, said, 'The high court order on removing the posters of the rioters should be understood in the right perspective. Only their poster can be removed, not the cases filed against them.'
Admitting that the court is 'above all', he spoke of 'many options'.
The state government had questioned the grounds of the High Court taking up the matter, contending that the court had 'erred in invoking public interest jurisdiction'.
In response, the judges had said, 'Courts are meant to impart justice and no court can shut its eyes if a public injustice is happening just before it'.
The judges said they were not concerned with the validity of the compensation, but 'to the act against the disclosure of personal details of the accused persons'.
Pulling up the state government, the court, in its judgment, had said the issue in question was 'not about personal injury' to the persons named, but also the 'injury caused to the precious constitutional value and its shameless depiction by the administration'.
The hoardings - in which 57 alleged protesters were asked to pay for damage to public property and warned of property attachment in case of non-compliance -- were put up in various parts of the state capital on the instructions of the Chief Minister, sources said.
Uttar Pradesh had witnessed violent protests against the contentious citizenship law in December last year and a majority of the 22 people who died in the countrywide protests were from the state.
After the violent protests, Yogi Adityanath had spoken of 'badla' (revenge) against the protesters, who have been 'captured in video and CCTV footage'.