Monday, May 30, 2011

Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea against Bhatta Parsaul violence

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition seeking a CBI enquiry into the alleged excesses and violence unleashed by the Uttar Pradesh government on farmers protesting against “forcible” acquisition of land at Bhatta Parsaul.

A Bench of Justices G. S. Singhvi and C. K. Prasad asked the petitioner to approach the Allahabad High Court since it had already taken cognisance and was dealing with the issue.

Senior counsel U. U. Lalit, appearing for the petitioner farmers, tried to argue that the matter needs consideration by the apex court as it involved the life and livelihood of thousands of farmers who have been rendered homeless and were facing constant threat to their lives.

The counsel alleged that the matter needs to be probed by the CBI as it was the official machinery including the local police which had allegedly let loose a reign of terror after forcibly acquiring the land under section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act.

Under the said section, the government can dispense with the mandatory proceeding prescribed under other sections of the Act if there was any urgency.

Mr. Lalit argued that there was no urgency and the State government officials had indulged in large scale violence against agitating farmers. He also cited purported statements of eyewitnesses of the police cremating bodies.

However, the arguments failed to convince the Bench which asked the petitioner to approach the Allahabad High Court for appropriate remedy.

The Bench also pointed that it would not be proper for the apex court to entertain the petition since various human rights organisations like National Commission for Women and National Commission for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes were also investigating the alleged excesses.

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