The Supreme Court will on August 5 view the two-hour video footage of the alleged police crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev at Ramlila Ground on June 4.
The apex court, after viewing the footage, will hear the matter on August 8 and August 16. The ambit of the case will not be expanded, and the focus will be on examining the circumstances that led to the incident, the bench said on Monday.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appearing for Ramdev asked the bench to seek an explanation from home minister P Chidambaram over the incident as the minister had defended the police act. But, the court declined the request “at this stage”. However, the issue would be kept open.
The court expressed concern over the incident. “Innocent persons should not be beaten up by whosoever. We must ensure that such incidents do not occur again,” the bench said.
The court had on June 6 taken suo motu cognisance of the police action driving out yoga guru and his followers in the middle of the night. The people had gathered to participate at the camp where they were also staging protest against corruption.
The court had directed the Delhi Police to explain why it resorted to such a ‘drastic action’, including use of tear gas shells and eater cannons in enclosed premises to drive out people.
The bench had questioned the city police for not registering an FIR on the complaint of the yoga guru’s followers against the alleged “atrocities” committed by the authorities.
The Delhi Police denied the allegations in its affidavit. They said the crackdown occurred when the yoga guru and his followers became violent and starting pelting stones at the police. The police also said that Ramdev had permission to use the ground only to hold a yoga camp. But, he converted the gathering into a political rally.