SC refuses to consider plea for Jamia, AMU students

SC refuses to consider plea for Jamia, AMU students

(PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider a plea for an inquiry into alleged police excesses perpetrated on students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during their widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 15.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant asked petitioners, including Alumni Association of Jamia Millia University and others, to approach high court concerned with their pleas for appointing a committee of retired judges to look into the matter, for ensuring adequate treatment to injured students and taking prior permission from the Vice-Chancellor before initiating any action against the agitating students.

“We are not inclined to entertain the petitions. Each of these incidents have taken place at different places, there are different consequences different situations and different grievances. We are not going to deal with the facts. We are not the first court,” the bench told senior advocates Indira Jaising, Colin Gonsalves and Sanjay Hegde, representing the petitioners, soon after their petitions.

The court also declined to consider a plea by Jaising for granting protection from “indiscriminate” arrest of protesting students, as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, contended that not a single student has so far been arrested in incidents.

“If peace has to be maintained, there should be an order that no arrest would be made,” Jaising contended.

“We are not prejudging here but what can police do when somebody breaks the law, throws stone or burns the bus... How can we stop them from registering the FIRs,” the bench said, highlighting that it was not equipped to examine facts of each case.

Gonsalves asked the court appoint a committee of retired judges to probe into the incidents as a measure to restore peace.

Hegde cited a similar move having been taken by the court during the agitation of students against the Mandal Commission (OBC reservation) in early 1990s.

“Having regard to nature of matter and vast area of incidents, we find that it would not be feasible to appoint a single commission for collection of evidence from various states. We consider it appropriate to direct the petitioners to approach the HC of jurisdiction,” the bench said in its order.

The bench added, “We are confident that Chief Justice of the HC will ensure appropriate inquiry, including of former judges of this court or high court after hearing Union government and respective states.”

The top court said that the HC can pass appropriate orders on arrest and medical treatment of the injured.

With regard to contention that the Vice-Chancellors of Universities were being ignored by the police while taking action against students, the bench said the HC would look into all aspects after hearing both the sides.

During the hearing, Mehta informed only two students who got injured in AMU incident, were being at hospital over there. One person lifted the tear gas shell which busted in his hand, he said.

Gonsalves sought to bring to court's notice a newspaper report, the bench said, “We are not going to rely upon newspaper for judicial decision.”

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