A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was recently filed by a law graduate in relation to the January 26 protests by farmers.
It sought the release of the participants involved in the farmers tractor rally who were who were "illegally" detained by the Delhi police. The Delhi High Court however dismissed the appeal on Thursday (January 28,2021). The law graduate claimed that no arrest memos had been issued in respect of the persons' detention and he alleged that they have been detained illegally. He further said that people had been detained from the Singhu, Ghaziabad and Tikri borders about which he had come to know through news reports and social activists.
The High Court asked the petitioner if the plea was indeed a "publicity interest litigation". The court then asked the petitioner for verification of the alleged fact that the said persons were missing and asked him to produce affidavits of the families of all those who he claimed had been illegally detained.
“It shouldn't happen that today you claim they have been detained, and tomorrow their families present themselves her,” Chief Justice DN Patel remarked.
The petitioner's advocate didn’t give any answer when the court asked to elaborate on the merits of the allegations and details of the FIRs under which such persons had been allegedly detained.
“When we asked if any family members have been contacted, we have been told they haven't been contacted. Persons cannot be released without entering into the merits of the FIR or allegation,”the court said.
Though the petitioner's prayer for a status report by the police on the cases was not commented upon, the court, however, directed for the investigation in the cases to be conducted in a time bound manner. As per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, persons detained, shall be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest. Upon the court's direction for the same, ASG Chetan Sharma prayed that instead of this, it may be directed that the persons be dealt with "in accordance with law," The court agreed.
“For the question of discharge, the court has to look into the nature of the allegations,” the bench stated.
The court thereby dismissed the application.