As the Supreme Court agreed to hear the pleas in Delhi violence case, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde stated that the apex court has a lot of pressure on it. He further stated that the Supreme Court wishes peace.
The CJI, heading a bench that also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, told senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, “People think this (courts) can stop rioting. We can only deal with it after it has occurred. The kind of pressure on us, we cannot handle. We wish peace. But we know there are some limitations on judicial power.” His remarks came after Gonsalves told the bench that some political leaders were making provocative speeches in the national capital.
The Supreme Court is set to hear the petition of activist Harsh Mander that challenges the Delhi High Court order over the FIRs against BJP leaders for making hate speeches that instigated the violence in Delhi.
On Monday, a Supreme Court bench led by CJI SA Bobde agreed to hear activist Harsh Mander’s plea challenging the February 27 order of the Delhi High Court adjourning the petition seeking the registration of FIRs against BJP leaders making provocative speeches that allegedly lead to violence in the national capital.
While mentioning the matter before the bench, Mander’s counsel Colin Gonsalves explained the sequence of events. First, the CJI questioned how the apex court could interfere when the Delhi HC was already seized of the matter. He added that the matter must have been deferred for some reason.
Thereafter, Gonsalves contended that people belonging to a certain party were roaming free despite making incendiary speeches and alleged that people were dying every day. Stating that such situations were beyond the control of the SC, the CJI observed that certain media reports gave the impression that the court was responsible for the violence. Maintaining that preventive relief could not be issued, the SC listed the matter for hearing on Wednesday.
Violence broke out in several areas in northeast Delhi, forcing the application of Section 144 as well as other strict curbs. Additional security forces have been called in amid the rampant stone-pelting, destruction of public and private property, arson and assorted wanton destruction.
Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal lost his life and one DCP was left injured during clashes in Gokulpuri. While the Home Minister reviewed the situation on Monday and Tuesday, the death toll in the violence reached 45 with over 200 left injured.
While the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has offered monetary, medical and home relief to the injured and deceased, the police had filed 167 FIRs and have arrested or detained 885 people to date. Meanwhile, the Delhi HC has given Centre till April 13 to file a counter-affidavit on the plea seeking FIR against leaders who gave hate speech, which allegedly incited the Delhi violence.