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Return money recovered from CAA protesters-Apex Court

The Supreme Court today has directed the Uttar Pradesh administration to refund all ‘recoveries’ made through recovery notices issued by the Yogi Adityanath government for damages caused to public property during the protests against the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act in 2019.

The Apex Court comprising of the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant after being told that 274 notices had been withdrawn said, “That is good…We appreciate the gesture,” even as it refused to order status quo on properties attached despite repeated requests made by UP Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad.

The Supreme Court said that if the notices have been withdrawn, the due procedure has to be followed. “If an attachment is done against the law and the orders have been recalled, how can the attachment be allowed to go on,” the court asked.

However, the top court gave liberty to the state government to issue fresh notices under the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020, which provides for setting up of claims tribunals.

“There shall be a refund of the damages recovered in the meantime. However, it will be subject to the decision of the claims tribunal,” the Bench said.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by one Parwaiz Arif Titu seeking quashing of notices sent to alleged protestors by the district administration for recovering losses caused by damage to public properties during the anti-CAA agitations in UP and asked the state to respond to it.

On February 11, the top court had pulled up the UP government for acting on the recovery notices issued to the alleged anti-CAA protestors in December 2019 and gave one final opportunity to it to withdraw the proceedings and warned that it will quash the proceedings for being in violation of the law.

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