SC pulls up Delhi Police, slams ‘inability’ to work independently

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the environment in the capital was not conducive for it to hear a plea against the Shaheen Bagh protesters as the toll in Delhi violence over CAA agitation reached 20.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph noted the inability of the police to work without taking instruction from anyone, which resulted in the spreading of the violence that erupted on February 23.

When Justice Joseph cited the functioning of the police in the US and UK, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contested it by stating that if Delhi Police were to act in accordance with its western counterparts, then “courts will be the first to intervene.

Mehta also objected to Justice Joseph’s remarks, and argued that one policeman has already died in firing by “a private bullet” and that a Deputy Commissioner of Police was brutally attacked. “This may not a time to put blame of the force,” Mehta told the court.

The apex court deferred the hearing till March 23, as it pulled up Delhi Police for its inaction over the last four days, when widespread violence spread across Gokulpuri, Jafrabad, Maujpur, Seelampur, Chand Bagh among other areas in the northeast.

The court also questioned the Centre for not taking appropriate steps to allow Delhi Police to work professionally to instil faith in the rule of law.

Justice Joseph expressed anguish over the loss of life. He also cited the implementation of the top court verdict in the Prakash Singh case to make police more effective and professional in its conduct.

Declining to expand the scope of the petition, which focuses on the clearing road blockade at Shaheen Bagh, the court took cognizance of the recent spike in violence in various parts of the capital.

“What happened is very unfortunate and it should not have happened….we do not to expand the ambit of Shaheen Bagh case and people can seek remedy by filing separate petition on the matter,” said the top court