Violence used in crackdown on Ramdev aides, says SC

Amicus curiae senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan criticised the Union Home Secretary and Delhi police for filing “lax” affidavits before the bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar.

The court is hearing the matter relating to the suo motu cognizance of the media reports on alleged police action on Baba Ramdev and his supporters at Ramlila ground on June 4 after the talks between the yoga teacher and the government failed over the several issues including that of bringing back black money stashed in foreign bank accounts.

Dhawan referred to call logbooks to allege that it was at 11.30 pm that the cancellation order to organise the programme was issued, Section 144 of the CrPC imposed and 55 minutes past midnight Baba Ramdev was woken up. There was also a call that the Kamla Market police were beating the people, he said.

“The Commissioner of Police’s affidavit should have given clear picture. It was a sorry state of affairs. The police were less than candid. The Home Secretary was evasive on question as to what had happened. The police did not give full records,” he said, adding that it was not that simple question whether there was police lathicharge.

The police had claimed that there was threat perception to public order, prompting them to act to remove Baba Ramdev and his supporters from Ramlila ground. “How did the threat perception translate into well-planned strategy by the police? How was the strategy evolved? At whose instance the police acted,” said the counsel.

“It is little more baffling as four ministers had met Baba Ramdev. It is difficult to believe that it was a simply a public order operation. It was political takeover of some kind,” he said. To his contention, the Court, however, said that it could look into history of the incidents but it may not “adjudicate” upon them.

The court asked Ramdev-run Bharat Swabhiman Trust to file its affidavit within 2 weeks on the allegation that Delhi Police tampered with the CDs and video clippings with regard to the incident.

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