Delhi violence: Supreme Court rebukes police, refuses to entertain pleas

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today reprimanded Delhi Police for the clashes in Delhi and termed unfortunate the incidents of violence in the national capital but refused entertain pleas on them.

A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said it will not expand the scope of petitions filed in connection with the protests at Shaheen Bagh by looking into the pleas on violence. “These things would not have happened had police not allowed instigators to get away,” the bench said, while referring to the incidents of violence. Police doesn’t have to wait for orders if someone makes inflammatory statements but act in accordance with law, the court said.

Justice Joseph also said there was lack of professionalism on part of the police. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the apex court that the Delhi High Court has heard pleas connected with the violence. After this, the bench disposed the applications saying it is for the high court to take note of the matter.

The death toll in northeast Delhi communal violence rose to 20 today from 13 the day earlier. Mehta asked the bench not to make any adverse observations relating to the violence as it will demoralise the police force. He was told by the court not to misunderstand its views as the remarks were made keeping in mind long-term implications.

The bench said it has nothing against Delhi Police but the remarks are being made keeping in mind the larger perspective. Justice Joseph also gave the example of police in US and UK and said the force has to act professionally as per law if something goes wrong. He added that the remarks are made not in adversarial context but to ensure that law and order is maintained.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on 23 March, saying there is need for magnanimity and for situation to cool down before the Shaheen Bagh issue is taken up.