Updated: February 4, 2021 3:18:29 am
The Supreme Court Wednesday declined to entertain petitions seeking its intervention to probe the Republic Day violence during the tractor rally by farm law protesters, saying the government is already looking into the matter and it did not want to interfere.
“We are sure that the government is inquiring into it and taking appropriate action. We read a statement of the Prime Minister in the press that the law will take its own course. That means they are inquiring into it…,” Chief Justice S A Bobde, heading a Bench that also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said as the petitions came up for hearing.
On the appeal by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who had filed one of the petitions, that the probe not be one-sided, the Chief Justice wondered how he could assume the same, and added that an investigation takes all sides into account. It allowed the petitioner to withdraw his plea and give a representation to the Centre if he wanted.
Tiwari’s plea sought setting up of a commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and comprising two retired High Court judges to hold a “time-bound” investigation into the violence. It sought that the authorities concerned be directed to register FIRs against individuals or organisations responsible for the violence and “the dishonour of our national flag” by the protesters at the Red Fort.
Pointing out that the protests against the farm laws have been on peacefully for more than two months, the petitioner wondered how they suddenly turned violent on January 26. He said the developments raise many questions of public interest and national security importance and contended that a commission was needed to find out who and what led to the violence.
The Bench refused to entertain a similar plea filed by Shikha Dixit, allowing her as well to withdraw her PIL and advising her to file a representation with the government.
A third plea, filed by lawyer M L Sharma, was dismissed. Sharma had sought directions to the Centre and media not to call farmers “terrorists” and spread “false allegations” without any evidence. He also alleged a “planned conspiracy” to sabotage the farmers’ protest.
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