High courts can inquire, says Supreme Court on plea over police action against protesters
The students 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.Updated: Dec 17, 2019 15:32 IST
The Supreme Court on Tuesday redirected petitions on the citizenship act protests to respective high courts and said the HCs can set up enquiry panels.
“We do not have to intervene. It is a law and order problem, how did the buses burn? Why don’t you approach jurisdictional High Court?” Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobe told lawyer Indira Jaisingh who, along with a group of lawyers, had requested the court to take suo motu cognizance of the matter.
“We are not a trial court. We cannot assume jurisdiction for whatever is happening all over the country. The situations may be different, facts and circumstances may be different,” the bench further said.
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Lawyer Indira Jaisingh pressed on, according to ANI, “It is a cross state issue and needs a fact-finding SIT. How can the court wash its hands of the issue? The court heard Telangana encounter case. We are asking for a similar order.” She was representing the students of Jamia university and sought protection for those against whom the police has filed FIRs.
“It’s established law that universities are not a place where police can enter without permission of vice-chancellor. One person lost eyesight, legs of some students were broken,” she said in her arguments.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the police, countered her saying “not a single student lost eyesight”. He also told the court that not a single student has been arrrested or put in jail.
The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Suryakant, had 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 students 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.