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Jamia riots: Supreme Court dismisses pleas against police action, directs the petitioners to approach respective HCs

Slamming the petitioners, Justice Bobde said that the apex court is not the place for establishing facts, directing the applicants to visit respective high courts to first establish the facts.

Refusing to entertain the pleas filed by the petitioners over the police action in Jamia, AMU and other places, the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that the students cannot take the law in their own hands or destroy public properties.

Slamming the petitioners, Justice Bobde said that the apex court is not the place for establishing facts, directing the applicants to visit respective high courts to first establish the facts.

A battery of lawyers representing the petitioners requested for suo motu cognisance of the Supreme Court on the police action against the protesting students. Senior Advocate Indira Jaisingh representing the petitioners asked the Supreme Court to pass an order stopping the police from filing an FIR against the protesting students.

However, this request was instantly turned down by the CJI who asked, “Won’t FIRs be filed if the students are pelting stones? What are the officers supposed to do if students behave like this? Who burnt the buses?”

Justice Bobe also asserted that action should be taken against anybody who commits an offence. “Illegal activities cannot be allowed. The police had the authority to put an end to all such criminal activities,” he said.

Jaisingh further argued that just like a committee was constituted by the apex court to inquire about the facts about the Hyderabad encounter, a similar committee should be appointed in this matter as well, accusing the Supreme Court of “washing their hands off” in this case.

CJI responded that there’s no parallel between the two cases as the Hyderabad encounter lies within the jurisdiction of Telangana while the pleas filed in this case pertains to protests across different parts of the country, adding that a single committee cannot have jurisdiction over so many states.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde pointed out the observation made by the Mandal Commission stating that one point commission is needed to look into such matters. However, the CJI quipped that it is for the Supreme Court to decide.

Hegde further asked the Supreme Court to direct the police officials to obtain permission before entering the premises of a university. However, this request too was turned down by the CJI.

“How many times should we tell you to approach the high courts? ” an exasperated CJI exclaimed.

Asking the petitioners to file a case in their respective high courts, the Supreme Court order also added that the high courts will have the liberty to appoint retired SC or HC judges for the purposes of inquiry after hearing the Union and the State Government.

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