R-Day violence: Delhi HC dismisses plea seeking release of 'illegally held' protesters at Singhu, Tikri borders

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the PIL seeking direction for release of all persons, including but not limited to farmers, who have been allegedly detained or arrested illegally on or after January 26, in and around Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders.

Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Tuesday while dismissing the plea observed that it is more of a "publicity interest litigation".

The plea was filed by law graduate Harman Preet Singh through advocates Ashima Mandla and Mandakini Singh.

In the plea, the petitioners had urged for the immediate release of persons including but not limited to farmers, illegally detained by the respondent Delhi Police.

According to the petitioner, he has come to the knowledge through personal survey, newspaper reports, media reports and social activists that the detained persons were illegally detained from Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders, in the absence of an FIR, thereby violating the basic fabric of liberty.

"Furthermore, through personal data collection, the petitioner has the names of 15 persons out of the aforementioned set of persons, who have been missing and detained since January 26/27, 2021, and despite a passage of over 4 days, no legally tenable reason has surfaced supporting such detention," the plea said.

It alleged that on January 27, the Delhi Police circulated in media that over 200 persons have been detained in connection with the alleged violence in the national capital during the farmers' tractor rally and thus far 22 FIRs were registered thereof.

"It is the humble submission on behalf of the petitioner that assuming the Delhi Police has registered FIRs qua the aforementioned 200 persons, the failure to comply with signing of the arrest memo and/or informing the next of kin within a period of 8-12 hours, and non-production of the persons before the magistrate under section 167 CrPC, falls within the contours of 'illegal detention'," it said.

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Free Press Journal