Decide early date for pleas on 2019 violence in Jamia: Delhi HC tells bench

The Delhi High Court requested its division bench to decide at an "early date," petitions concerning incidents of violence in Jamia Millia Islamia in December 2019


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Taking note of a Supreme Court order asking it to promptly hear such matters, the Delhi High Court on Friday requested its division bench to decide at an "early date" petitions concerning incidents of violence in Jamia Millia Islamia in December 2019 following student protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma sent the batch of petitions, which have alleged the use of ruthless and excessive force by the police and paramilitary forces on students, to the division bench headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul and directed that it be listed for hearing on November 29 along with pleas concerning the riots of February 2020.
"List all matters before Division Bench (DB) II.on November 29. The DB is requested to decide the matter at an early date as directed by the Supreme Court," the bench, also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad, said.
The petitions seek directions for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT), Commission of Inquiry (CoI) or a fact finding committee, medical treatment, compensation and interim protection from arrest for the students and registration of FIRs against the erring police officers.
The police had earlier opposed the plea for setting up of a SIT or a CoI to look into the incidents of violence, saying it would "amount to supplanting the law".
The petitioners before the court are lawyers, students of JMI, residents of Okhla in south Delhi, where the university is located, and the Imam of the Jama Masjid mosque opposite Parliament House.
On October 19, the Supreme Court had requested the high court to "hear out early" the petitions concerning the incidents of violence while noting that "these matters are pending before the high court for some time now".
Counsel for Delhi Police Rajat Nair Friday sought an adjournment from the court on the ground that additional solicitor general SV Raju had been appointed to argue the matter but he was not available.
He also said that the present batch was "linked" with the batch of petitions concerning the riots that broke out in the city's north-east area in February 2020 and are currently pending consideration before another bench.
The court, while sending the matters to the other bench, also asked the Delhi police to respond to an application by one of the petitioners for inclusion of certain additional prayers in the main petition.
The application prays that the FIR registered by Delhi Police against students as well as the complaints made by the students should be investigated by an independent agency. It also recommends the names of certain civil servants who could be appointed to head the independent SIT.
In the main petitions, the petitioners have said that there was need for an SIT which was independent of the police and the central government which by their conduct have shown that their investigation into the violence was "not independent".
They have said that such a move would also "reassure the public" and would restore the people's faith in the system.
Earlier, the police had opposed the petitions, saying that the reliefs sought by the petitioners cannot be granted as charge sheets have been filed in connection with the violence and they should have sought whatever relief they want before the subordinate court concerned.
On the issue of police entering the varsity without permission, the police's counsel had said internationally police are not denied access to educational institutions and universities.
With regard to providing compensation to students who were seriously injured in the violence, he had said that the same can be awarded only if there was an admission of breach and in the present case the issue was still being examined.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 28 2022 | 9:16 PM IST

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