– Radiance News Service
Dushyant Dave, a senior advocate has raised concerns over the rising trend of state governments demolishing homes of the people accused of crimes. He emphasized the fact that the right to a home is an integral component of the right to life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. Dave urged the Supreme Court to lay down law against Bulldozer Justice. He also asked the Court to order the reconstruction of the houses so demolished.
A group of petitions concerning the demolition operation that was carried out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri in April 2022 were heard by a panel that included Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra. This operation was ultimately stopped by the Supreme Court. The same bench was also debating another petition regarding the state’s plan to demolish the homes of people charged with crimes.
As per LiveLaw, “Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave expressed concerns about the impact of ‘bulldozer justice’ on the families of people involved in crimes whose houses have been demolished, urging the Supreme Court of India to ‘settle the law on whether such powers can be exercised by the State, especially to target a particular section of society.’
However, during the brief courtroom exchange, Dave once again stressed the urgent need to lay down the law to prevent the State from bulldozing people’s homes as a form of punishment – “But you’ll have to decide this once and for all. Every state is adopting this method of using bulldozers and demolishing homes. Everywhere, it has become a fashion. Imagine the plight of the families. The homes of accused people are being destroyed even before their conviction. Even if they were convicted, the court could not have imposed this sentence of demolition of their houses. Families are suffering.
“However heinous an alleged crime may be, you cannot go and demolish people’s homes. What have their families done to invite this punishment? This will need to be heard and the law needs to be laid down. This court must intervene because the right to a home is a part of the right to life,” reported LiveLaw.
In June 2022, a group of former civil servants urged the then Chief Justice of India NV Ramana to take cognizance of the demolition of the properties of those who protested in Uttar Pradesh against the controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma. In an open letter dated June 20, the group said that the idea of “bulldozer justice” and inflicting brutal punishment on citizens who dare to protest lawfully or criticize the government was becoming a norm in the country.