No law to back state action: SC on 'name and shame' posters in Lucknow

The court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, that it is a matter of 'great importance'.

Published: 12th March 2020 12:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2020 01:44 PM   |  A+A-

Advocate General Raghvendra Singh speaks to media outside the Supreme court in Delhi

Advocate General Raghvendra Singh speaks to media outside the Supreme court in Delhi. (Photo | Anil Shankya, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday did not stay the Allahabad High Court judgment of March 9 ordering removal of hoardings containing photos and other personal details of anti-CAA protesters.

A vacation bench of Justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose heard the petition at length but referred to the  question of law to a larger judge bench and said,"Matter requires further elaboration and consideration." The case will now be sent to Chief Justice of India to be sent to a three judge bench.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, pointed out 57 indicted for destruction of public properties include rioters of both communities. Mehta said that the Allahabad HC order is based on alleged violation of right to privacy but privacy will have a different dimension when a person chooses to commit certain acts in public.

On this, the bench asked, "But the question is whether state has a right to put posters of those involved in public places. We agree there shouldn't be vandalism and those involved must be brought to book but the question here is can a State go two steps ahead and publicly ridicule them. Is there any law to back the State's action?"

Mehta told the bench that the extraordinary step of putting up hoardings was required for a stronger deterrent.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi appears for one retired IPS officer who also found his photo in one of the hoardings and says since when this country has legitimised 'name and shame' policy and said, "What if people start getting lynched? Posters were to incite violence, invite people to spit on them, take law in their own hands & lynch them."

Senior advocates Colin Gonsalves, CU Singh, Vrinda Grover also appear for some of the persons whose photos were put up in the hoardings across Lucknow but the bench said that they have accepted the contentions regarding importance of the matter and hence a three-judge bench should hear it.

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