The Supreme Court has today directed the Delhi High Court to list all the matters pertaining to Delhi violence during the Citizenship Amendment Act protests, for a hearing on 6 March.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde while requesting the Delhi High Court to deal with the matter expeditiously has also stated that all other connected matters in this regard which have been adjourned to a later date may be advanced and taken up along with this matter.
“We don’t think the extent of such a period of adjourning the matter is justified. We are of the view that the matter is heard on Friday,” stated CJI Bobde.
The bench also urged the High Court to explore the possibility of an amicable resolution of the dispute asserting that “Peace is possible and we want some people to spread that message.”
Meanwhile, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta expressed his distress with the apex court’s move to transfer the cases to the High Court, however, the SC bench rejected his contention stating that “Since the High Court is already hearing the case, let the whole matter be heard there. We intend to get political leaders who are polarised to talk to people and bring about peace. You can do that in the Delhi High court as well.”
Earlier, on February 27, the Delhi High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar had adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by Harsh Mander, till April 13. The petition sought for registration of FIRs against politicians who made hate speeches and allegedly incited violence in North East Delhi.
Subsequently, writ petitions were filed before the SC for the same. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the riot victims, submitted that the long adjournment granted by the Delhi HC was ‘demoralizing.’
“My problem is that these leaders are roaming free. I am disappointed with the sequence of events,” added Colin Gonsalves.
Thus, the same was transferred by the apex court to the Delhi High Court stating it shall list the matter on Friday.
On the other hand, SG Mehta argued that “Riots cannot take place because of one or two speeches. It is fallacious to believe that.”
“We also have experience in riots. Sometimes if you catch leaders and lock them up, the riots flare-up,” CJI stated.
On February 26, a bench comprising Justices Dr. S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh of the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to “take a conscious decision” within a day on registration of FIR in respect of inflammatory speeches allegedly made by politicians including but not limited to BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Pravesh Verma, Kapil Mishra, and Abhay Verma. However, the following day, i.e. on February 27, the matter was considered by another bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Hari Shankar, which adjourned the hearing till April 13 following the submission made by the SG Mehta that the ‘situation was not conducive’ for the registration of FIR.