In the context of the Uttar Pradesh government bulldozing ‘illegal properties’ of protestors who took to the streets to protest, experts have pointed out that it violates international law.
This idea of serving ‘justice’ through bulldozers emanated in Uttar Pradesh.
In the wake of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 the Uttar Pradesh government passed orders to recover damages from those who were allegedly involved in destroying public property. This process has been further institutionalised through the enactment of the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020.
Violation of Rights –
Several commentators have already pointed out that the use of such brute state power violates various domestic and international legal provisions.
The right to housing is not only a fundamental right recognised under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, it is also a well-documented right under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The right to property under Article 300A of Indian Constitution is a human right, former Supreme Court judge Justice V. Gopala Gowda said.
Likewise, Article 11.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognises the right to adequate housing.
According to the UN Human Rights Office, an integral element of the right to adequate housing is ‘protection against forced evictions’.