SC refuses to entertain PILs for probe by judicial panel into R-Day violence

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 3

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain PILs for a probe by a judicial inquiry commission into the Republic Day violence during farmers’ tractor rally in the national capital.

“We are sure the government is inquiring into it and taking appropriate action,” a Bench headed by by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde told the petitioners.

“The PM in his statement has said the law will take its own course. So the government is investigating it,” the CJI pointed out.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea seeking directions to set up an Inquiry Commission under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to look into the entire aspect of clash between farmers and Delhi Police on January 26 during the farmers’ tractor rally.

Petitioners’ counsel said the investigation shouldn’t be one-sided. Statement of the other side should also be recorded.

“Obviously…What does an investigation mean? Both sides will be investigated…,” said the CJI.

Giving liberty to the petitioners to withdraw their petitions, it asked them to make a representation to the ministry concerned.

With regard to a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma that raised the issue of alleged improper voting on farm bills, the top court said the validity of the farm laws was already pending adjudication in other petitions.

Thousands of protesters had forced their entry into Red Fort and certain other areas, fought with the police, damaged a large number of vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort. One protester had died after his speeding tractor overturned.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari’s petition demanded a three-member inquiry commission under the chairmanship of a former SC judge and FIRs against those responsible for the violence and causing dishonour of the National Flag on Republic Day.

Advocate Sharma wanted the court to direct the authorities concerned and the media not to declare farmers as “terrorists” without any evidence. There was a “planned conspiracy” to sabotage the farmers’ protest by declaring them as terrorists, he alleged, and urged the court to prohibit propagation of “false allegations” against farmers.

Tiwari alleged that there might be some conspiracy by some “notorious forces or organisations” to cause disturbance and damage the peaceful protest and create clashes between police and protesting farmers.

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