Supreme Court to hear plea on Jamia violence today

Updated on Dec 17, 2019 02:31 AM IST

Students at Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia university and Aligarh’s Aligarh Muslim University were at the receiving end of police action on Sunday, although the police claim they reacted only after the protestors turned violent. In Delhi, for instance, the protestors set Delhi Transport Corporation buses on fire.

Demonstrators attend a protest against a new citizenship law, outside Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi, December 16, 2019.(REUTERS)
Demonstrators attend a protest against a new citizenship law, outside Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi, December 16, 2019.(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Expressing his disapproval of “rioting and destruction of public property” , Chief Justice of India refuse to hear a case on the run-in between the police and students of Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia university and Aligarh’s Aligarh Muslim University till the “rioting” stopped.

Students at both universities were at the receiving end of police action on Sunday, although the police claim they reacted only after the protestors turned violent. In Delhi, for instance, the protestors set Delhi Transport Corporation buses on fire.

“Just because they happen to be students, it doesn’t mean they can take law and order in their hands. This is not the frame of mind when we can decide anything. Let the rioting stop,” said Chief Justice Bobde.

His comments came when a group of lawyers led by senior advocate Indira Jaising requested the bench led by the Chief Justice of India to take suo motu cognizance of the matter.

Chief Justice Bobde remarked “if you want to take to the streets, do that, but then do not come to the court.”

The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Suryakant agreed to hear the matter on Tuesday with the rider that there be no more rioting and destruction of public property.

Senior advocates Jaising and Colin Gonsalves also implored the court to take up the matter and claimed it was the police that had indulged in violence. They sought a probe into the incident by a retired Supreme Court judge.

Jaising impressed on the court that the students were protesting peacefully and it was the police that were burning buses and indulging in arson and blaming the students.

But the court refused to take up the matter on Monday saying “we have enough experience of how rioting happens; we will decide the matter, but not in this atmosphere. All this has to stop”.

The court also declined to look at videos of the clashes. It emphasized: “we do not want to see any videos. If rioting continues we will not hear the case.”

The students at both the universities were protesting against the government’s Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, which gives citizenship to migrants, of six non-Muslim minority communities from three countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

During the day, a bunch of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court by present and former students of Jamia, also seeking a judicial probe into the incident by a retired judge of either the Supreme Court or a High Court.

While the Supreme Court will hear the matter pertaining to clashes on Tuesday, it will take up a clutch of petitions f challenging the constitutional validity of the Act on Wednesday.

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