Delhi HC slams police for no FIRs against BJP leaders

Delhi HC slams Delhi police for failing to lodge FIRs against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma

BJP leader Kapil Mishra

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday slammed the Delhi Police for failing to lodge FIRs against the BJP leaders who allegedly made inflammatory speeches, as Delhi's northeastern parts simmered for two days, leading to the death of over 20 people.

The HC said it cannot allow another 1984 (anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi that left 3,000 people dead) in Delhi. The court asked the police to make a decision by Thursday on lodging FIRs against three BJP leaders – Union Minister Anurag Thakur, MP Parvesh Verma and former Delhi MLA Kapil Mishra – for their speeches.

“Our anguish is that as a constitutional court, we cannot remain mute to what is happening around,” a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and A J Bhambhani said, rejecting contention by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that cases would be lodged at an appropriate time.

READ: Advice police to lodge FIRs over hate speech: HC to SG

“What do you think is the appropriate time for you to register a case? How many lives have to be lost and how many homes have to be burnt before you register a case? When will you file? After the city has been burnt down? You have to show that police means business,” the bench said to Mehta.

The court directed the Delhi police to lodge cases against others too for making hate speeches, as per the Supreme Court's Constitution bench judgement in Lalitha Kumari's case for mandatory registration of FIR in cognisable offences.

It called the report of compliance of its order from the Delhi police commissioner on Thursday. According to the HC's cause list, the matter has now been posted before a bench presided by Chief Justice D N Patel.

Earlier, the video of Kapil Mishra's speech – warning to end the CAA protest -- was played out in the courtroom after Mehta submitted that he had not seen it.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for activist Harsh Mander, referred to these videos, including a speech by Anurag Thakur, to contend that the police had failed to take any action into the matter.

The court said every victim of the violence must be visited by the highest level functionary be it the Chief Minister or Deputy CM to instil confidence and stated -- “This is the time to show Z security works for everybody.”

“This is the time to reach out to everyone who has lost a family member, be it police officer or citizen. That is the way to secure peace... We cannot allow another 1984 (anti-Sikh riots),” it said. The court issued other directions for setting up helpline and desks for the affected people.

The HC's bench also held a special sitting at 12.30 am on Wednesday, for issuing orders to provide treatment to the injured victims.

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