The Delhi Police have blamed yoga guru Baba Ramdev for the “midnight crackdown” on him and his followers while they were camping at the Ramlila Ground to protest the government’s failure to get back black money stashed abroad.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the police on Friday, said Ramdev and his followers should take responsibility for the “entire mess” created by them during the protest.
Salve further said home minister P Chidambaram’s involvement to bring the situation under control was justified to maintain law and order at the venue. He refuted Ramdev’s allegations that Chidambaram’s interference was malafide.
“He was obviously worried when the gathering exceeded the capacity and his action was constitutionally permissible,” Salve told a special bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar.
Defending the Delhi Police’s action on the midnight of June 4-5, Salve countered the arguments of Ramdev’s counsel Ram Jethmalani. He contended, “If you have a capacity of 50,000 and it went up to one lakh, the home minister will be worried and the centre is expected to maintain the order.”
Salve questioned Jethmalani’s insinuation against the home minister and asked, “Does it become malafide if the Delhi Police commissioner is in touch with the home minister and the home secretary?”
He accused the organisers for not furnishing proper information regarding the camp. According to him they had “not given the correct impression” about their intentions and that led to the chaos. Though Salve termed the police action as unfortunate, he blamed Ramdev and his followers for it.
He told the bench that police officials had gone to meet Ramdev to inform him about their decision to cancel the permission to hold a camp. The officials had also informed him about the reasons behind the cancellation.