Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Govind Mathur, CJ and Samit Gopal, J., directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General, Central Reserve Police Force, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University and the Registrar, Aligarh Muslim University to adhere with the recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

This Court had by an order asked NHRC to conduct an enquiry for alleged human rights violation at Aligarh Muslim University.

In pursuance to the above, an enquiry was conducted by a 6 member team of NHRC.

Following are the recommendations made by the Commission:

a) Directing the Chief Secretary Govt. of Uttar Pradesh to provide suitable compensation to the six students who have been grievously injured commensurate with their injuries, on humanitarian grounds.

b) Directing the DGP-Uttar Pradesh to identify the policemen (both district police and PAC), as seen in CCTV footages involved in stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students which has no bearing on the task of controlling law and order. A suitable action may also be taken against them as per rules and provisions that exist for subordinate officers in UP Police. The police force should be sensitized and special training modules be carried out to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations.

c) Similar directions as in point (b) above may also be given to the Director-General, CRPF for RAF. RAF being a specialized force primarily set up to deal with riots and handle law and order situations, should show utmost professionalism in such crisis situations while at the same time, respecting the human rights of civilians also.

d) Directing DGP of UP, to ensure that the SIT set up vide his order dated 06/01/2020 investigates all the related cases on merits and in a time bound manner. The Hon’ble court may also like to set the time limit and periodic review, if any, for the completion of investigations on time.

e) The DGP UP and Senior Officers are also advised to improve and set up a robust intelligence gathering system. Special steps may be taken to counter rumour-mongering and circulation of disorted and false news especially on social media. This is to better control such law and order incidents that occur spontaneously and unexpectedly.

f) To direct the AMU-Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other authorities to establish a mechanism of better communication with the students’ fraternity so that they are not influenced by outsiders and rusticated unruly students. They should take up all confidence-building measures to rebuild the trust of students so that such incidents do not occur in future.”

The petition has been further listed for 25-03-2020. [Mohd. Aman Khan v. Union of India, Criminal Misc. Petition No. 26085 of 2019, decided on 24-02-2020]

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Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ refused to put a stay on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and granted the Central government four weeks’ time to file a reply on the petitions challenging CAA. The Court also indicated setting up a Constitution Bench to hear the pleas.

The Court was hearing a batch of more than 140 petitions challenging or supporting the newly amended citizenship law that fast-tracks the process of granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and took refuge in India on or before December 31, 2014.

During the hearing, CJI said,

“We may ask the government to issue some temporary permits for the time being.”

Attorney General K K Venugopal asked the Court to freeze filing of further petitions, as over 140 petitions have been filed and others who wish to be heard, may file intervention applications. He said,

“Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit that will be filed today.”

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the Assam Advocates Association, sought an ex-parte order from the court with respect to the implementation of the Act in Assam. He told the court,

“The situation in Assam is different, 40,000 people have already entered Assam since the last hearing.”

Several petitions were filed in the top court and high courts across the country for and against the CAA. There have been protests in different parts of the country against the Act. It has also been challenged by the Kerala government in the Supreme Court. Kerala and West Bengal have also said that they will not implement the amended law. However, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid have said that
state governments cannot legally refuse to implement a law passed by the parliament.

Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

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Supreme Court: Refusing urgent hearing on a plea seeking to declare the Citizenship Amendment Act as constitutional, CJI S A Bobde observed that the country is going through difficult times and there is so much violence going. Expressing surprise over the petition, the bench said that this was the first time that someone was seeking that an Act be declared as constitutional.

“There is so much of violence going on. The country is going through difficult times and the endeavour should be for peace. This court’s job is to determine validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional,”

The bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said it will hear the petitions challenging validity of CAA when the violence stops.

The observation came after advocate Vineet Dhanda sought urgent listing of his plea to declare CAA as constitutional and a direction to all states for implementation of the Act. The plea has also sought action against activists, students and media houses for “spreading rumours”.

On December 18, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, but refused to stay its operation. It said that it will hear the batch of 59 petitions on January 22, 2020.

The newly amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Act including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

Several other petitioners include Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, and law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.

(Source: PTI)

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Govind Mathur, CJ and Vivek Varma, J. while addressing the present petition requested the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to have a complete inquiry or investigation due to the alleged violation of human rights and negligence in the prevention of such violation.

Alleged display of police brutality upon students who were protesting against the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is the reason for the filing of the present petition.

At Aligarh Muslim University a huge number of students assembled to share solidarity with the students of other Universities who were protesting against the above-stated Act. On the evening of December 15th, peaceful processions according to the petitioner was lodged at the Library canteen of the University.

A huge contingent of the police forces moved towards the University circle and provoked the students by different means including intentional utterance of abusive words. Students were heavily injured by the brutal lathi-charge, rubber bullets and pellets.

Further, the petitioner stated that to disburse the assembly of the students, the force was used by the State. The contingent of police forcefully entered in different parts of the University including the library, hostels, classrooms, offices, etc. and brutally behaved with students. Police officials intentionally assaulted the students and also vandalized the vehicles parked on the University campus.

It has also been alleged that a large number of students were detained and tortured then on 16-12-2019, University Registrar issued notices to vacate the hostels.

Counter affidavit filed by the Inspector General, Law & Order U.P. and Senior Superintendent of Police, Aligarh stated that the students in violation of the precautions as per Section 144 CrPC gathered at the University circle and when the authorities noticed the hindrance being caused by some of the students in their routine functioning, Registrar, Aligarh Muslim University requested the District Magistrate, Aligarh to take appropriate steps.

Registrar of the University had sent a letter to the District Magistrate requesting the deployment of security forces to prevent any untoward incident. District administration received certain intelligence inputs and also information from the Proctor of the University about the assembly of the students inside the University campus and their march towards Bab-e-Syed apprehending unwarranted incidents.

Gathering taking advantage of darkness started pelting stones vigorously from various directions and that enormously destroyed University property. Having no other option, the district administration decided to enter into University campus to disburse gathering and preventing the property from being damaged.

Additional Advocate General submitted that the above-said action was taken to prevent loss to public and public property at large. He also stated that in accordance with Article 19 of the Constitution of India, the right available is only to assemble peacefully without arms. But in the above incident, the assembly was absolutely unlawful and was abating for violence.

Senior Advocate, Sri Colin Gonsalves stated that the petitioner’s demand is to have a complete investigation as there is a violation of human rights and commission of cognizable crime. He also referred to the observations made in the Supreme Court Case in Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Assn. v. Union of India, (2017) 8 SCC 417, wherein it was stated that,

“..inquiry or investigation by the National Human Rights Commission is of civil nature and that too is not an effective measure to bring the culprits of doing wrong to board.”

 

Decision

On perusal of the above-stated aspects, the High Court stated that, under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 the Commission may inquire suo motu or on a petition relating to the students for violation of human rights or abatement thereof or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant.

There has been alleged violation of human rights and also alleged negligence in the prevention of such violation. The narration of the facts certainly demands a probe.

Court on perusal of the powers of the NHRC stated that the entire matter is to be inquired by the Commission.

Inquiry by the State Human Rights Commission also but in light of the fact that the National Human Rights Commission is already undertaking inquiry relating to similar allegations on a complaint filed by the students and some faculty members of Jamia Milia Islamia University, the Bench considers it fit to have an inquiry in the present matter too by NHRC.

Commission has been requested to complete the inquiry within a period of one month and to convey its findings and recommendations, if any, to this Court immediately after the conclusion of the inquiry/investigation. [Mohd. Aman Khan v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine All 1, decided on 07-01-2020]

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Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ has issued notice to Centre on a batch of pleas challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The Court has, however, refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. It said that it will hear the petitions on January 22, 2020.

Yesterday, the Court had refused 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.”

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.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

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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.

(Source: PTI)


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

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Supreme Court: 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.

Taking strong note of damage of public property and rioting during the Jamia Milia protest in which around 50 students were detained last night and later released, the Court said,

“We are not against peaceful demonstrations but we can’t allow people to go on streets, indulge in rioting.”

Stating that the Court was experienced enough to understand how rioting takes place, the Court said that it can’t be bullied to take cognizance of a matter just because people were throwing stones outside.

“We will determine the rights but not in the atmosphere of riots, let all of this stop and then we will take suo motu cognizance.”


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019