The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will not take suo motu cognizance of the petition filed against protests in the national capital until “violence and destruction of public properties” stops.
“Let the rioting stop. Public property is being destroyed. The court can’t do anything right now. We will determine the rights but not in the atmosphere of riots. Let this stop and then we will take suo motu cognizance. If protests violence and destruction of public properties continues, we will not hear it. Come back tomorrow,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, said.
“Suo Motu” is the term given to the action taken by an authority on its own will. The Judiciary usually takes action once a case or cause is brought before it by a party.
The matter was mentioned before the bench by senior advocate Indira Jaising in the backdrop of violent protests which erupted in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University yesterday over newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Jaising requested the apex court to take suo motu cognizance of violence.
As per videos of students going viral on the social media platforms, police entered the campus, vandalized the departments, libraries and classes. The police brutally thrashed the students due to which a lot of them are in the hospital currently. One of the students also dies in the clash.
Indira Jai Singh said, “Human right violence is taking place all over the country. No one can stop the peaceful protest in this country. Hundreds of students injured, buses are burnt by the police and blame is being put on students.”
On these contentions, the Chief Justice Bobde said the law and order situation should be handled by the police. “Just because they happen to be students, it doesn’t mean they can take law and order in their own hands. This has to be decided when things cool down. This is not the frame of mind when we can decide anything. We will take cognizance, but let this stop. We will see what we can do. First, we want to assure that there is peace,” CJI Bobde said.
He, however, clarified that the court is “not against rights and peaceful demonstration” by the protesters. Meanwhile, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves requested the top court to appoint a retired top court judge to inquire into the matter.
“Muslims are being kept away in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Afghanistan is included but neighbours — Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan are avoided. This cannot be accepted. It is against the Constitution to divide people on religious line. CAA is anti-democratic,” he told the court.
The Act provides citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who faced religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014. As per latest reports TISS, AMU, JNU, DU and other universities are staging protest against the Bill and the Police brutality as well.