New Delhi, Feb 26, 2020: In the morning, the court rapped the police, saying it should not "have to wait for a court’s order" and "should take action on its own."
Stating that the situation outside is "very unpleasant," the Delhi High Court Wednesday said that it cannot allow another ’1984 riot’ in the capital and that the highest functionaries of the state have to be "very alert." It also called the killing of an IB officer in the ongoing violence as "unfortunate." "This is the time to show that Z Security is for everyone," Justice S Muralidhar said. At least 21 people have died in the clashes so far and over 250 have been injured.
Earlier in the day, the court said it was "amazed at the state of affairs" after the Delhi Police said that it has not yet watched the video clip of BJP leader Kapil Mishra and others making hate speech that allegedly lead to the mob attacks in northeast Delhi over CAA. A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh asked Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta to examine the video clip, while watching the same in the open court. It also asked the SG to advice Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on lodging of FIRs against alleged hate speeches by BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Sahib Singh, and Kapil Mishra. “We are sure the police commissioner has a TV in his office. Please ask him to watch this clip," the bench observed.
In the morning, the court rapped the police, saying it should not "have to wait for a court’s order" and "should take action on its own."
The hearing also witnessed the exchange of words between the SG and Delhi govt’s Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehta in Delhi HC on the issue of representing police commissioner. Mehra said the issue has been settled by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on the powers of the Centre and the Delhi government and everyone should respect the Rule of Law of the country. Mehta contended that the Union of India is also a stakeholder in the matter and he has been instructed by the LG to appear. "Don’t create an ugly scene here. I am not addressing a rally. I am addressing the lordships here," he said, who was then allowed to advance arguments in the matter.
The SG also urged the bench to hear the matter on Thursday, saying prayers made in the petition can wait till tomorrow. Justice Muralidhar says the situation outside is very unpleasant.
The court was hearing a plea seeking a judicial inquiry and registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Sahib Singh, and Kapil Mishra and others for allegedly making provocative statements on anti-CAA protesters that have led to multiple riots and mob attacks in Northeast Delhi.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also came down heavily on the police, saying it lacked "professionalism." The Supreme Court said the violence would not have happened if the police had not allowed the instigators to getaway. The bench said it had nothing against the force, but was making the remarks keeping in mind the larger perspective, reported news agency PTI. It refused to take up the petition as the matter is already being heard by the high court.
While seeking to “ensure the safety and protection of all protest sites, especially women and children”, activists Harsh Mander and Farah Naqvi knocked on the High Court’s door for urgent listing of the petition. The activists said, “Delhi Police did not have the right to interrupt the protesters’ freedom of speech, as they were participating in a peaceful demonstration”.