Explain Ramlila police action: SC

Last Updated 06 June 2011, 19:26 IST

In a related development, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also expressed concern over reports relating to what it termed as “unconstitutional police action on sleeping protesters” and sought a report from the Centre and Delhi government on the incident within two weeks.

The Commission wants the governments to explain reasons for resorting to such an action at midnight, the number of people injured or missing following the incident and whether there was any plan to compensate them.

A vacation Bench of the apex court comprising Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar expressed concern over the “police atrocities” on the people assembled on the call of the yoga guru  for their ‘satyagraha’ agitation on a host of demands, including bringing back of black money stashed in foreign bank accounts.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the news reports on the incident, the apex court issued notices to the Union Home Secretary, Delhi Chief Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner, seeking their response within two weeks.

They were asked to explain the circumstances which compelled the government to take brutal action on the people gathered at Ramlila Maidan on the intervening night of June 4 and 5.

“Considering the gravity of the police atrocities and the brutal force that was used by the police to disperse the innocent people who had gathered at Ramlila maidan in furtherence to the permission granted by the state is a matter of concern for the court,” the Bench said.

It, however, dismissed a petition filed by advocate Ajay Agarwal that had invoked violation of fundamental rights of peaceful protesters in their forceful eviction from the site of the agitation.

The petitioner also wanted a direction to the government for bringing out a white paper on the issue.

The Bench expressed its displeasure over the publication of the contents of his petition in the media before it could take up the matter.

“We are shocked to know that all grounds and particulars taken in the petition by Agarwal have already been published in the press,” the Bench said.

“In view of the fact that we are not in a position to probe as to who has furnished the information and details of the case to the press before the matter was even registered by the Registry of this Court, we are not inclined to entertain this petition,” the Court said.

Terming the petition filed by Agarwal as “vague” in which he had named nine persons, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as one of the respondents, the court said, it did not require such petition filed only to seek “publicity”.

(Published 06 June 2011, 04:56 IST)

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