THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued a direction to all the magistrates in Haryana to not proceed with or pass on any order on any application for withdrawal of cases registered during the 2016 Jat quota agitation. They have also been restrained from acting any further on any cancellation reports in the cases.
The division bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli also directed the Haryana government to not proceed with its applications for withdrawal of the cases. The order restraining the government and judicial magistrates from further action on applications for withdrawal from prosecution or cancellation reports will remain in effect until further orders, the division bench said.
The Haryana government earlier had granted the prosecutors permission to withdraw 407 cases of violence and claimed that the decision “would pave a way for bringing brotherhood, harmony and peace among various communities in the State and the same shall be in a larger public interest”.
On May 22, the Haryana government gave an assurance to the High Court that it would not proceed with its applications for withdrawal of the cases after senior advocate Anupam Gupta informed the court that the government, in order to ensure a trouble-free visit of BJP president Amit Shah in February this year, had assured Jat leaders that it would withdraw cases registered against the accused.
When the division bench said Wednesday that it could take a decision on the matter due to the paucity of time, Haryana’s Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan submitted that the court may direct the State to not proceed with the applications for withdrawal cases. Initially, the division bench wanted the State to extend the time period for its assurance in the court that it would not proceed with the applications. However, the bench passed the order for it after submission of the Advocate General.
During the resumed hearing of the suo motu case in which the High Court is monitoring the ongoing probe into cases of violence registered during the agitation, the division bench also framed four issues related to the Jat agitation, which will be considered during the subsequent hearings.
The ongoing CBI probe into the breach of Munak canal, cases of violence being probed by the SIT headed by IPS officer Amitabh Dhillon, the alleged Murthal gangrape case and the issue of withdrawal of the cases will be subject matter of the suo motu case during the subsequent hearings.
Murthal ‘rape’ case
The bench said Wednesday that the request for transferring of the probe into the alleged rape to the CBI required consideration and any order can be issued only after the Haryana Advocate General was heard on the matter.