The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued notices to the state government over razing a Muslim trader's shop in Khargone town after violence broke out during Ram Navami on April 10.
A single judge bench issued notice on the petition filed by the Khargone-based trader, Jahid Ali, who demanded a judicial probe against "arbitrary and illegal action" of the government and the local administration, compensation for the demolished property and its reconstruction.
Mr Ali also sought punitive action against officers who "acted extrajudicial". The court issued notices on June 9 to the state government, home department, Khargone district administration and the police, besides the chief municipal officer and sought a reply within two weeks.
Mr Ali's lawyer, MM Bohra, said that just a day after the communal violence in Khargone, a team of local authorities bulldozed the petitioner's shop, which was his one source of income.
"Till date my client hasn't been told by the authorities why his shop was demolished without giving any notice. He is the legal owner of his property and had been paying all taxes for it. The demolition was arbitrarily and illegally carried out, despite the petitioner being the legal owner of the properties through an appropriate process of law," Mr Bohra said.
"No notices were issued or any opportunity of hearing was given before the demolition. The petitioner was not even an accused or involved in the incident of causing riots. The petition was filed against the administration for being judge and jury in itself in taking a decision in a vendetta against the petitioners being members of a minority community without reasonability and rationality," the lawyer said.
In April too, the Indore bench of the high court had issued notices to the state government and other respondents, while hearing petitions filed by a Bakery owner and a restaurant owner, whose legally owned properties were allegedly demolished by the authorities in Khargone after the April 10 communal violence.
The Uttar Pradesh government, too, has been razing buildings of people whom it has accused of taking part in violent protests. Accusing the Uttar Pradesh administration of "making a mockery of the Constitution", three former Supreme Court judges are among 12 prominent persons who have urged the court to react to the "violence and repression by state authorities against Muslim citizens" protesting over BJP representatives' remarks on Prophet Muhammad.