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'Courts Can't Do Much': SC Adds 'Peace' Caveat to Hear Pleas Against Police Crackdown on Jamia, AMU Students Tomorrow

The CJI said he would only hear the matter on Tuesday if there is no violence on Monday.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:December 16, 2019, 1:27 PM IST
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'Courts Can't Do Much': SC Adds 'Peace' Caveat to Hear Pleas Against Police Crackdown on Jamia, AMU Students Tomorrow
Students of Jamia Millia Islamia claimed that they were holding a peaceful protest when police "violently attacked thousands of students".

New Delhi: Students can't take law in their own hands or destroy public properties, said Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Monday as a clutch of lawyers requested the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the police action on students in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Justice Bobde was emphatic that the court will hear the matter on Tuesday but only when violent protests stop and that issue is not escalated any further.

"Let all this stop and then only we will hear. We can't be bullied like this. Just because someone is being asked to leave the campus etc..Public properties are being destroyed, buses being burnt..this must stop," remarked the CJI as senior lawyer Indira Jaising brought the matter to the notice of the court.

Jaising cited the recent clashes at Jamia and AMU, and implored upon the CJI to initiate suo motu proceedings to inquire into the while episode. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves also mentioned his petition, filed on behalf of Human Rights Law Network, for hearing.

At this, the chief retorted that the court is not saying who is responsible or who is not but rioting must stop if they want the top court to intervene.

"I don't think the courts can do much. It is law and order problem. Police have to deal with it. But we will still hear it once the peace is restored... Just because they happen to be students, it doesn't mean they can take law and order in their own hands," added the CJI.

Jaising and Gonsalves differed with the CJI, and said it was in fact the police which was indulging in the violence.

But Justice Bobde remained firm: "We can see what we can do but not like this. If you want to take to the street, do that but then don't come to us. Let there be peace first and we will see what we can do."

The CJI finally asked the lawyers to circulate their petitions and applications, and said the matter will be taken up tomorrow.

But he also added a caveat: "But remember, we will hear this only when there is no further escalation. If protests and destruction of public properties continue, we won't hear you."

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