Supreme Court Dismisses PIL Challenging Validity of Uttar Pradesh Gangsters Act
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court challenging the validity of various provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 and the rules framed thereunder.
"Why have you come here? What is your locus? You are just a lawyer", said the Supreme Court questioning the locus standi of the Petitioner.
"We are not inclined to entertain the Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. The Petition is accordingly dismissed", ordered a Bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice Dipankar Datta.
The Uttar Pradesh Gangster Act violates Articles 14, 19, 20(2), 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India, said the plea filed through Advocate-on-Record Ansar Ahmad Chaudhary, who also appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Petitioner.
The Petitioner had contended that the Act provides arbitrary powers to police/executive to invoke Gangsters Act against any person on their own satisfaction and such powers to police affront to the principle of reasonable classification under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
The District Magistrate under section 14 of the Gangster Act has the power of attachment of the properties acquired by the Gangster and a person aggrieved can submit representation under Section 15 for the release of his property before the District Magistrate who has passed the order of attachment. That is "a clear violation of the principles of natural justice" as per the petition.
In 2013, the Supreme Court repelled the challenges as to the validity of a provision of the Gangster Act. Similarly, the Allahabad High Court has also upheld the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters Act.
The plea prayed that the Supreme Court may direct the State of Uttar Pradesh to keep in abeyance all further proceedings in already registered cases, in addition to striking down various provisions of the Act. However, the Court did not appear inclined to admit the plea filed and dismissed it in limine.
In its order, the Supreme Court has reserved liberty to any aggrieved person to adopt appropriate proceedings in accordance with law before the competent forum.
Cause Title- Md. Anas Chaudhary v. The State of Uttar Pradesh