The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the petitions of victims of the unprecedented violence in Northeast Delhi, seeking FIR against BJP leaders for alleged “hate speeches”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde today agreed to hear the plea filed by riots victims.
At least 46 people have been killed so far as two more bodies were recovered days after violent clashes erupted between the supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last week. Over 200 people have been injured as rioters rampaged through parts of the northeast district of the national capital burning down shops and houses and attacking the residents.
The petition was mentioned for urgent listing by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the riot victims.
Gonsalves said that the Delhi High Court has deferred for four weeks the matters related to riots in the national capital despite the fact that people are still dying due to the recent violence.
While agreeing to hear the plea of the Delhi violence victims, the apex court also observed that the courts are not equipped to handle pressure to control riots.
A bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant said: “The courts are not equipped to control riots as it is the job of the executive…Courts are not equipped to handle such kind of pressure. They step in only to correct decisions and moreover the High Court is seized of the matter”.
The top court also said it wishes for peace and also have limitations.
“We will hear but you have to understand. The court comes on the scene after the incident has happened. We wish peace… we have limitations,” said the top court. It also noted that the media reports suggested as if courts are responsible.
Last Thursday, the Delhi High Court had given the Centre four weeks to file its response on the issue of filing FIRs against three BJP leaders — Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma and Anurag Thakur — for alleged hate speeches and inciting violence in the national capital.
A day before, a furious two-judge high court bench comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh, directed the Delhi Police to take a “conscious decision” on the registration of FIRs against the politicians.
Pulling up the city police, the high court asked the Delhi Police to sit and watch all videos of hate speeches made in the recent past and submit a report by today.
The court had also sought an explanation on why there was such a delay in registering FIRs in cases of hate speech.
The court also played the three speeches — including that of Kapil Mishra’s that was delivered hours before the violence — so that the Delhi Police and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who had denied watching the clips, could see them.
However, hours later, in a major turn of events, Justice Muralidhar was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which the Centre has termed as “routine affair”.
As the high court adjourned the hearing till April 13, Gonsalves had requested for a closer date. “10 to 12 people are dying every day. A closer date would be appreciated,” he said.
However, the court did not agree to the plea and also made the Centre a party in the case.
The violence started a day after BJP leader Kapil Mishra carried out a rally in Jaffrabad area on February 22 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.