Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has filed a public interest litigation petition (PIL) before the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Central and State governments that no residential accommodation or commercial property be demolished as a punitive measure [Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind v Union of India]..The petitioners cited increased incidents of demolition of properties by government administration in several States including the recent incident from Madhya Pradesh as a punitive measure towards people allegedly involved in criminal incidents such as riots.“A number of ministers and legislators, including the Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh, have made statements advocating such acts and especially threatened the minority groups with destruction of their homes and commercial properties in case of riots,” the petition said..The reliefs sought include a direction that no lasting precipitative action be taken against any accused in criminal proceedings. It was further prayed that police personnel be provided specialised training in order to handle communal riots, and situations where populations become restive.Further, the Court was urged to direct ministers, legislators and anybody unconnected with criminal investigation to restrain from assigning criminal responsibility publicly or through any official communication until so determined by a criminal court..The petitioners claimed that in response to alleged acts of violence, several State governments were employing bulldozers to raze down the properties of persons suspected to be involved in such acts.“Such measures by the governments undermine the criminal justice system of our country, including the important role of the courts,” the petition said. .These acts showed a complete disregard for the rights of the accused, said the plea emphasising that fastening guilt on the accused without investigation or adjudication by a court, in itself violated their rights.The petitioner pointed out that the victims of these demolition drives were largely from religious and caste minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis.“The Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh has even stated 'If Muslims carry out such attacks, then they should not expect justice',” the petition underscored..In fact, it was highlighted by the petitioner that at least one of the demolished properties was built under the Central government’s initiative called “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana” meant to provide affordable housing to the economically weaker sections of the society. This proved false the justification that these properties were built illegally, the plea contended. .Such acts are violative of a persons' rights under Article 14, 15 and 21 and it is imperative that the Court takes immediate action to tackle the extrajudicial measures being employed by several States, it was submitted. .The petition was filed through advocate Kabir Dixit.