SC On Delhi Violence: We Can’t Stop Things From Happening

New Delhi: “We are not saying that people should die. That kind of pressure we are not equipped to handle. We cannot stop things from happening,” said the Supreme Court on Monday, agreeing to hear on March 4 a plea seeking lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders — Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, Kapil Mishra and Abhay Verma — for their alleged hate speeches in Delhi where more than 40 people lost their lives.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves represented a plea filed by 10 victims of the violence, which was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant, which said it would be heard on Wednesday.

The court said it is unable to provide preventive reliefs. “We feel a kind of pressure on us,” the CJI said when Gonsalves, appearing for petitioners, sought urgent listing of the plea, insisting that everyday people are dying due to violence.

“All of those have experienced a nexus between the hate speech slogan made by 4 prominent persons belonging to the party in power that were repeated not only in Delhi but across the country, which exhorted the followers of these leaders to take law into their own hands and kill peaceful protestors,” the plea said, seeking prosecution of Thakur, Verma, Mishra and others.

The bench said the court can deal with a situation only after the incident takes place and it is not equipped to prevent it.

“The kind of pressure on us, you should know, we cannot handle that…we also read newspapers and the comments which are made, and it seems as if the court is responsible,” said the court.

The Chief Justice, replying to Gonsalves, said: “We would wish peace but you know that there are limitations.”

When the bench cited the Delhi High Court is already seized of petitions on Delhi violence, Gonsalves replied it has deferred the matter for almost six weeks, and that it was disappointing.

“When people are still dying…why cannot the court hear it urgently,” said Gonsalves seeking urgent hearing on the matter on Tuesday.

The court replied that it would see what it can do on the matter and listed it for hearing on Wednesday.

The plea seeks several directions, including constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) consisting of officers from outside Delhi and headed by an officer to conduct independent probe.

The plea also sought a direction to a retired judge to enquire into the “communal attacks” and also point at police persons involved in rioting and take strict action against them, including dismissal from service in accordance with law.


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