The Delhi High Court on Wednesday passed a series of orders with regards to the violence in Delhi’s northeast district and said that “another 1984-like situation cannot be allowed to happen in this city under its watch”.
“We have to be alert,” said Justice S Muralidhar and ordered safe passage for collection of body of deceased, setting up of adequate number of helplines, shelter to people who have been displaced among other things.
“We propose to appoint amicus curie to coordinate between victims and agencies to ensure that prompt action is taken,” the court added.
The high court was hearing a plea seeking FIRs against those who instigated violence in Delhi. The plea also sought an independent judicial inquiry into the violence in Maujpur, Jaffrabad and adjoining areas in Northeast Delhi.
The court observed that “it was time to provide Z-level security to citizens, as it was for everyone”. The Bench also said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia should visit the affected areas “for confidence-building among people”.
The court also expressed concern over the discovery of the body of an Intelligence Bureau officer in the violence-hit northeast Delhi and termed it as “unfortunate”. It further asked the highest functionaries in the state and central government to personally meet the victims and their families.
On the plea of deployment of Army in the violence-affected areas, the court said: “We don’t want to enter into the question of deployment of Army. We should focus on the issue of registration of FIR right now.”
At least 22 people have died and over 250 have been injured in violent clashes that erupted between the supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Delhi’s northeast region on Monday.
Terming the situation as “very unpleasant”, Justice Muralidhar further said: :We have all watched videos of some leaders making hate speeches openly. It’s on every news channel.”
The court then played BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s video clip in the court in the presence of all lawyers and DCP Deo and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, in which he could be heard passing alleged inflammatory remarks.
It was played after the police officer said that he has not seen it.
Appalled by the police officer’s response that he had not seen Mishra’s video, the judge said: “This is really concerning. There are so many TVs in your office, how can police officer say that he hasn’t watched the videos. I’m really appalled by the state of affairs of Delhi Police.”
He ordered the clip of Mishra’s speech to be played in the court, saying, “Let all of you watch it.” After the video was played, the DCP identified the sub inspector present in the video.
Meanwhile, Rahul Mehra, standing counsel for the Delhi government, had said that solicitor general Tushar Mehta cannot appear for the Delhi police without the aid and advice of the state’s cabinet. Mehta had said that Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal had authorised him to appear for the Delhi police. SG Mehta then made an oral application seeking the impleadment of the Centre as a party to the petition, according to LiveLaw.
When Mehta asked if the matter cannot wait for 16 more hours, Justice Muralidhar responded, “Isn’t lodging of FIRs against the culprits an urgent matter?” He remarked that the situation is very unpleasant, saying, “We have to discuss the issue of urgency.”
The petition was filed by Mander and activist Farah Naqvi and sought the setting up of a special investigation (SIT) team to inquire into the riots in Delhi and compensation for those killed and injured in the violence.
The high court has meanwhile, appointed advocate Zubeda Begum as amicus curiae to coordinate between victims and various agencies, news agency PTI reported.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court said class 10 and 12 students, who have board examination centres in northeast Delhi, need to be informed in one go about the schedule for the next 10-15 days and not on piecemeal basis.
The court asked the CBSE to come with instructions about a long-term plan at 2.15 pm. The direction by the court came after the CBSE on Wednesday said that the exams in 86 schools in northeast Delhi have been postponed.
Meanwhile, in an emergency midnight hearing, the high court had asked the police to ensure safe passage and emergency treatment for those injured in northeast Delhi violence since the last three days.
The HC bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J held the hearing at the residence of Justice S Murlidhar at 12:30 am on an urgent petition seeking safe passage for the injured to medical institutions with adequate facilities.
The violence started on Saturday last week after BJP leader Kapil Mishra carried out a rally in Jaffrabad area and gave a three-day ultimatum to the anti-CAA protesters in the area to clear. “Three days’ ultimatum for Delhi Police – clear the roads in Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh. After this, we won’t listen to you,” he declared. In a video of the speech he can be seen making these incendiary comments even as a Delhi Police officer stands next to him.
However, no action has been taken against Mishra by the party.