The Allahabad High Court has asked the State of Uttar Pradesh to explain the sudden demolition of 34 lawyers' chambers in Lucknow, which is stated to have taken place without any prior notice (Advocate Anand Kumar Shukla & 6 Others v. State of UP and Ors).
A Bench of Justices Pankaj Mittal and Manish Kumar has also asked the Government to detain in their counter whether any rehabilitation scheme is being considered in the matter.
The order reads:
"He (Government counsel) may specifically state in the counter affidavit if any scheme for rehabilitation of the lawyers is under preparation and if the Government is ready and willing to construct a new building for the chambers of the lawyers and to allow them to the lawyers of Tehsil Sadar giving priority to the lawyers, who are already occupying chambers in the existing campus."
The petitioners submitted that the lawyers of tehsil Sadar, Lucknow had been allowed to build their chambers and occupy them. The Court recorded their further submission that all of a sudden, 34 chambers were demolished on November 16.
The demolition was done without any notice or providing any opportunity of hearing, the Court was told. Further, it was contended that no order of any competent authority directing for the demolition of the chambers was produced and placed before any lawyer. About 74 chambers remained.
The High Court noted that the State counsel was unable to assign any reason as to why the chambers had been demolished or whether any notice or opportunity of hearing was given before the demolition. Against this backdrop, the Court has also directed the State to refrain from carrying out any further demolition in the area until further orders.
The matter will be heard next on December 9. Senior Advocate HJS Parihar and Advocates Sudhakar Mishra and Brijesh Kumar appeared for the petitioners.