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Delhi High Court Agrees to Hear Two PILs on Violence During Jamia Protests against Citizenship Act

File photo of Delhi High Court (Picture courtesy: Getty Images)

File photo of Delhi High Court (Picture courtesy: Getty Images)

One petition was moved for setting up of a fact-finding committee to look into the violence at the university. The second one sought probe by an independent agency like CBI for a SIT.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear two PILs moved on the recent violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University here during protests against the Citizen (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Both the petitions were mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Rekha Palli which allowed them to be listed for hearing on Thursday.

The first petition was moved in the morning by advocate Rizwan seeking setting up of a fact-finding committee to look into the violence at the university.

The second petition was moved around 1.30pm jointly on behalf of the Imam of the Jama Masjid mosque opposite the Parliament House and two residents of Okhla seeking investigation by an independent agency like the CBI or the SIT into the violence at JMI.

The petition, on behalf of the Imam and two others, was filed through advocate Mehmood Prachha and also seeks "registration of FIR against the erring officials, including police personnel who orchestrated the incidents of violence to create unrest and have, thereafter, resorted to brutalities against the students".

It said that immediate action was required to be taken against the erring police officials so that they "do not get any time to fabricate and manufacture facts and evidence against the protestors".

It also said that every citizen has the right to peacefully hold protests and police assault on such protesters was a violation of their fundamental right.

The petition by Rizwan alleges that Delhi Police "resorted to use of arbitrary, excessive, discriminatory and illegal force against students, more particularly female students, of JMI, on the false pretext of restoring law and order".

It further alleges that students and teachers were protesting in a peaceful manner against the amended Citizenship Act but the police disrupted it and used "unjustified, excessive, arbitrary and brute force" against them.

The petitions were moved in the Delhi High Court after the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that such petitions relating to violence be moved in high courts concerned.

Apart from seeking appointment of a fact-finding committee, comprising former judges of the Supreme Court and the high court, the PIL by Rizwan also wants no FIRs be lodged against students and no coercive steps be taken in complaints already registered, in connection with the violence, till the panel gives its report.

Directions to police not to enter the university campus without requisite permission from authorities concerned as well as proper medical treatment and compensation for the injured students are the common reliefs sought in both petitions.

Several public buses and two police vehicles were torched in the clash between students and police at New Friends' Colony near Jamia university during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act.

Students and police personnel were injured in the incident.

first published:December 18, 2019, 19:53 IST