Supreme Court
Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Wednesday a petition filed by riots victims for lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders for their hate speeches, but Chief Justice S A Bobde said the court can't control violence or stop things from happening, which is a job of the executive.

"We can't handle that," said the CJI who is heading the Bench that includes Justices Bhushan R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The alleged BJP hate-mongers are Anurag Thakur, a minister, Kapil Mishra and Parvesh Verma.

Senior advocate Collin Gonsalves, however, argued that the court can prevent the situation from deteriorating as it would put a fear in the mind of the police for refusing to act efficiently.

The petition also demanded deployment of Army to maintain law and order, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with officers from outside Delhi to probe the riots, an inquiry committee headed by a retired judge to probe alleged involvement of Delhi Police personnel in the communal violence, exemplary compensation to all victims, and making public the full list of persons detained by the police and lawyers' access to them.

It also sought preservation of all CCTV footage of the riot-affected areas, immediate release of post-mortem reports, and providing cook-ed food to the affected families in affected areas as also in hospitals and detention centres.

Gonsalves, whose plea before Delhi High Court was deferred for four weeks, sought an urgent hearing from the top court, urging its intervention in the matter without undue favour meted out to "influential persons" as people are still dying.

He also expressed dismay at the High Court not giving the matter the urgency it deserved. His similar plea is pending before Delhi High Court.

On February 27, the High Court Bench had put off to April 13 the hearing on the plea that the "situation was not conducive" for registration of FIRs, as ordered a day earlier by Dr Justice S Muralidhar, who was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court same night.

The CJI tried to pacify him, pointing out that the Apex Court certainly wants to broker peace but there are limits to its functioning. The court's responsibility is to pass appropriate orders once the event has happened, he said.

The CJI also said controlling violence during riots is the job of the executive and not the judiciary. "We cannot give preventive reliefs. We find a kind of pressure on us. Please understand that we can only deal with the situation after it occurs; the kind of pressure that is being exerted on us, we can't handle that.

It's as if the court is responsible. We are reading newspapers, we know the kind of comments that are being made. Courts come on the scene after a thing is done and courts have not been able to prevent such thing."

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Free Press Journal