Supreme Court: Refusing to intervene in the incidents involving the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has asked the petitioners to approach the High Courts first. The Court said,
“We don’t want to spend time knowing facts, you should go to courts below first.”
In the hearing that escalated into a high voltage court room drama, Indira Jaising appearing for the students said,
“It’s established law that universities are not a place where police can enter without permission of VC. One person lost eyesight. Legs of some students were broken.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was quick to respond that “not a single student lost eyesight.”
When the lawyers started arguing at high pitch, the Court took a strong noteand said,
“there should not be a shouting match just because there is large crowd and media.”
The Court also went on to ask how the buses burn during the protest. It said that it was a law & order problem.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for protesters, urged the Court to send a former judge to AMU for fact finding. It was also argued that Police must have prior permission of VC of university before entering the University premises.
When the Court asked the Centre to give details as to why notices were not given to protesters before arrest and whether medical assistance was given, the Solicitor General responded that no student was in jail and that the police took the injured students to hospitals.
The Court said that the injured students must get medical attention and if anybody commits offence then police is free to arrest.
The Court also said that since the incidents have taken place at various places, one inquiry cannot be ordered in these cases. Asking the petitioners to approach the High Courts, the Court said the High Court would not only be at liberty to pass orders on arrests and medical assistance, they will also be at liberty to order inquiries.
Yesterday, when a battery of senior lawyers including India Jaising, Colin Gonsalves, Salman Khurshid, etc approached the Court to take the Court to take suo moto cognizance of the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, a bench headed by CJI Bobde said that it would hear the matter with a ‘cool mind’ tomorrow but the rioting must stop.
**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019