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Saturday, February 27, 2021

R-Day violence: Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking release of ‘illegally detained’ protesters

The court directed the Delhi Police to complete investigation in the FIRs registered against protesters as early as possible.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: February 3, 2021 6:45:46 am
Delhi High court on detained protesters, R-day violence FIRs, Delhi Police, Delhi farmers protests, Farm Laws, Delhi news, India news, Indian expressFarmers remove police barricades set up near the Red Fort during the 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' amid the 72nd Republic Day celebrations, in New Delhi. (PTI)

THE DELHI High Court Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking the release of persons allegedly detained illegally by Delhi Police in connection with the violence on January 26 during the farmers’ tractor rally, and directed the investigating agency to conclude the probe in the FIRs already lodged as early as possible.

The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the arrested persons cannot be released without entering into the merit of FIRs and investigation. While directing police to complete the probe in the FIRs already registered within a time-bound schedule, as per the provisions of CrPC, it also said those detained in accordance with the law have to be produced before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours for further legal action by the courts.

While terming the petition a “publicity interest litigation”, the court said the petitioner should have placed on record the affidavits of the families of those 15 persons who, according to him, have been missing since January 26. “They might have gone somewhere for some work. Where is that affidavit of the family members? Suppose we are issuing notice and then the family members say ‘no, no… he has gone for family work’,” observed the court.

Advocate Ashima Mandla, who represented petitioner Harman Preet Singh, informed the court that Delhi Police on Monday released a statement that 122 persons have been arrested and 44 FIRs have been registered.

In the petition, Singh alleged that more than 200 persons have been detained from areas in and around the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders in connection with the alleged violence in the national capital on Republic Day. The legality of the arrests was under question, argued Mandla.

However, the court said it was not with the petitioner and would not even issue notice in the case. Nothing is known to the petitioner about the nature of allegations in the FIRs, it added. About the persons allegedly missing after January 26, the court said the petitioner has not contacted any of their relatives.

During the hearing of a related case but a different PIL, in which the petitioners sought directions for an investigation into alleged incidents of “insults” to the national flag during the tractor rally, the division bench orally asked a counsel representing the Commissioner of Police to apprise it of the organisations that had sought permission for the tractor march and to whom it was given.

The hearing was adjourned to February 4 as the counsel representing the petitioners could not attend the virtual hearing.

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