Hearing a batch of PILs related to the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia in December last year, the Delhi High Court told the Delhi Police that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report into the violence does not give a clean chit to anyone, and pointed out that the report indicated the incident was not handled professionally.
Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan were hearing a batch of PILs seeking setting up of a special investigation team or a fact-finding committee as well as medical treatment, compensation and interim protection from arrest for students. It also sought registration of FIRs against erring police officers.
On December 15 last year, anti-CAA protests outside Jamia spiralled into violence, following which security personnel barged into the campus and allegedly assaulted students inside the library.
During the hearing, Justice Jalan told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi: “There is some finding of some avoidable beating in one of the libraries. So was any action taken?”
ASG Lekhi replied, “The findings of the human rights commission… is sufficient for dismissal of these particular petitions and so is entitlement for compensation…”
Justice Jalan said, “It says both things. It says the law and order situation but it also says to inculcate professionalism. It indicates that it was not handled very professionally.”
Justice Jalan said, “In any case there is police action, the question remains whether the police were entitled to act at all, but the question of to what extent the action was excessive, etc… the human rights commission has come to some findings against the petitioners or against the protesters…”
The ASG said, “The commission has found that there was violence by the students which created a law and order problem as to make the action by the police legitimate, but said in some instances there was excess. It was not as if the action taken as a whole was unwarranted or unnecessary.”
Justice Jalan said, “That part aside, it can’t be read as some kind of clean chit given to anyone either.” The court said that it needed time and adjourned the matter for next Friday.
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