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Jat stir: High court restrains Haryana from withdrawing criminal cases

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday restrained the Haryana government from withdrawing of 407 FIRs registered in cases of violence during the protests by the Jat community for reservation in February 2016.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2018 18:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Jat,Jat agitation,Jat quota
Yashpal Malik, president of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti (AIJASS), with Jat agitators of Delhi villages, going to submit a memorandum to SDM, after a Dharna, at Najafgarh in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday restrained the Haryana government from withdrawing of 407 FIRs registered in cases of violence during the protests by the Jat community for reservation in February 2016.

A bench of chief justice Krishna Murari and justice Arun Palli also directed judicial officers in Haryana not to proceed further in the cases where cancellation reports have been filed by the police.

In May 2018, advocate general, BR Mahajan, had assured the court to not pursue these cases after objections from amicus curiae, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, in a suo motu petition filed in February 2016.

In February 2018, the Haryana government had held meetings with Jat leaders on withdrawal of cases after the latter had threatened to hold a parallel rally in Jind along with BJP president Amit Shah’s rally on February 15.

After several rounds of parleys, including some sessions with state chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and assurance of withdrawal of 70 odd FIRs, Jats withdrew their plan to disrupt Shah’s rally.

In June 2017, the government had proposed to withdraw 137 cases and in May 2018, a fresh list of 240 was submitted, arguing that representation for the same was received at the local level.

At least 30 persons had died and private and public property worth thousands of crores damaged during more than a week-long violent protests.

As many as 2,105 FIRs were registered by Haryana after the violence.

As per Gupta, of 407 cases proposed to be withdrawn by the state, 129 were such which were termed serious by Prakash Singh committee, a panel formed by the state government to examine role of officials during the violence. 20% of cases are touted to be such where persons have been booked for dacoity.

The matter was taken up by this division bench for the first time since the chief justice took over.

After Gupta briefed the division bench about the issues raised in the petition, the matter has now largely been divided in four parts — the Munak canal breach issue where court is monitoring investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation; non-Munak canal issues which include cases of violence reported in other parts of the state; alleged rapes in Murthal, and those cases where government is seeking withdrawal of cases.

The matter will be taken up on October 4.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 16:58 IST