The Delhi Police on Friday told the Delhi High Court, which was hearing a batch of PILs relating to violence at Jamia Millia Islamia in December last year, that the university was “not a place where law cannot reach”.
Police had barged into the university on December 15 after anti-CAA protests nearby turned violent. Police claim they were chasing rioters, while students have alleged they were at the receiving end of police brutality inside the university.
The submissions in court were made by Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for Delhi Police, before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan. The bench was hearing a batch of PILs seeking setting up of a special investigation team or a fact-finding committee, apart from medical treatment, compensation and interim protection from arrest for students, and registration of FIRs against erring police officers.
The ASG told the court, “What has happened is wrong because it happened in an area where police did not have access and it has happened to students. Students may also commit a wrong and students may be a part of the conspiratorial design… and the place where the incident took place may be a University. The question is not where or who commits the crime. The question is that a crime has been committed. As long as there is a crime, intervention would be necessary and this is exactly what has happened.”
Lekhi argued that the PILs were filed by persons whose rights have not been violated, while those whose rights were violated are not present before the court in this petition. “It is a third party which has assumed to itself the obligation to plead rights of parties which are not before the court. We are talking about a finding that human rights have been violated. We are asking for an indictment of a machinery of the Government and we are saying that an agency like the police cannot be trusted with its functions. These are very grave allegations and allegations of such gravity cannot be made in a manner as cavalier as these petitions are,” Lekhi told the court.
The ASG argued that the petitioners had relied on newspaper evidence, which is “second-hand hearsay evidence”, and videos which were not authenticated.
Lekhi told the court that in this case, FIRs have been filed, people have been arrested and chargesheeted, which does not find a mention in the petitioner’s PIL. He also said the persons who have been arrested have not sought remedy.
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