Friday, January 24, 2014

Supreme Court issues notices to Centre, Delhi govt over Kejriwal’s protest, asks police why they allowed dharna

The Supreme Court on Friday sent notices to the Centre and the Delhi government over the protest by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party.

The apex court said the issue involves matter of constitutional importance and sought replies in six weeks. The SC will also decide whether a constitutional post holder can resort to agitation in violation of law.

The court  questioned the Delhi police as to why it allowed Kejriwal and AAP supporters to assemble for the protest despite prohibitory orders and why no action was taken against them subsequently. The Delhi police sought time till next Friday to inform the SC as to how the unlawful assembly happened and about its actions.

The apex court disapproved the Delhi Police inaction in permitting people to gather outside the Rail Bhavan despite prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure barring assembly of five and more persons being in force.

"How did they (people) assemble when prohibitory orders under secton 144 of CrPC was clamped. Why did you let it happen in the first place when the mob is already there," a bench comprising justices R M Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh asked Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.

"Why did police at all permit people to gather when it will amount to breach of prohibitory orders. What we are inclined to know is whether police acted," the bench said while adding that "by allowing five people it swelled into 500 and thereafter into thousands".

Observing that "the task in hand is to see that the constitutional provisions are respected," the bench sought explanation by Janaury 31 from the Police Commissioner why people were allowed to gather unlawfully at the site of dharna by Kejriwal.

AAP party was demanding action against policemen who refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring on a Delhi minister Somnath Bharti's directive last week.

"We want information on two queries as to why despite the prohibitory order under section 144 of CrPC the law enforcing agencies/police permit five and more persons unlawfully.

"Second whether law enforcing agencies/police acted appropriately and with utmost expedition in dispersing the unlawful assembly by force under section 129 (2) of CrPC after such assembly was informed under section 129 (1) of CrPC to disperse and despite such command the assembly did not disperse," the bench said in its order.

Kejriwal had led a protest demanding suspension of Delhi policemen for 'failing to arrest' the members of an alleged drug racket involving Ugandan nationals.

After two days of face-off with the police, Kejriwal called off the protest near the Rail Bhawan as Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung agreed to send the accused policemen on leave.

No comments:

Post a Comment