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SC Commences Hearing Today: JMI And AMU Violence

By Lawstreet Bharat      Dec 17, 2019      0 Comments
SC Commences Hearing Today: JMI And AMU Violence

The Supreme Court today (December 17, 2019) commenced hearing pleas on alleged police atrocities on persons protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, for Jamia alumini association begins argument.  The Counsel sought SC’s intervention. The Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde said, “Don't treat us as a trial court. There are various consequences. What can this court to do?” Advocate Mehmood Pracha said, “Widespread, spontaneous protest started in various parts of the country. Students are our guiding light. The SC has to protect our right to protest. It was a siege where armed police attacked unarmed citizens.”

The SC told Petitioners that, “We are not institution to maintain law and order. We are not going to deal with facts. We are not the first court. We are not belittling the problem. It is a law and order problem.”

Indira Jaising told the SC that, "If peace has to be maintained, there should be an order that no arrests would be made. I am asking for no coercive action."

SC asked, "If somebody has broken the law, should police not file an FIR? We are not saying that you don't have a problem. Let us have an advantage of a High Court order. Why don't you go to the high courts. There are different circumstances, consequences, grievance and situation in every instance of violence. We are not a fact-finding court. We are not saying we don't want to hear your grievances. We are not belittling the problem. We look at it in all seriousness. But the facts of each instance of violence have to be determined."

The Petitioner argued, "There is a commonality in the protests. They are increasing by the hour. If you do not intervene, it will snowball into a bigger issue. The Government wants to portray them (protestors) in bad light. FIRs are being filed against students one after the other all over the country."

The CJI said, "Its only happening in JMI and AMU and not all over the country."  

The CJI further added that, "How did buses burn? We are not interested in supporting or testifying the the Government's stand. We only want facts determined first."

Indira Jaising said, "If you want peace, as you said yesterday, you cannot file FIRs against hundreds and thousands of students. Universities are private property. How could the police enter without permission from the college. Let the government provide humanitarian medical aid free of charge. In the dead of winter you close the hostels, are students going to sleep on the pavements? At the end of the day we are looking for resolution so that peace can rule. That cannot be done if FIRs are filed. These are measures which will not affect the probe. How will students sitting in jails help. You wash your hands off us when in Telangana (Hyderabad encounter) you intervened (SC set up an Inquiry Commission)."

The CJI replied to that saying, "In Telangana, there was only one committee to be formed. Here, that is not the case. This is not a shouting match. This is not a place for you to shout. Just because there is a big crowd and media is present."

Indira Jaisingh told the SC that, "A judicial order will bring peace."

The SC in the end refused to hear anymore petitions in the matter asking the petitioners to approach respective High Courts which would appoint a fact finding committee headed either by retired SC or retired HC judges after hearing the arguments of Central Government.

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