R-Day violence: Delhi High Court declined probe plea


Sreya Kanugula

The Delhi High Court declined to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea that sought an investigation into the violence that had broken out at the protesting farmers’ tractor rally on January 26th, Republic Day. 

It sought an inquiry into the rally as well as the purported security lapse that had resulted in the hoisting of a religious flag by the protestors at the Red Fort. 

The bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel as well as Justice Jyoti Singh had given the petitioner the options for the withdrawal of the plea or dismissal resulting in costs. 

The court had also questioned the petitioner’s representative, Mr. Vivek Narayan Sharma, whether he had begun typing out the petition immediately after the said incident had taken place on the 26th since the PIL showed January 29th as the date of filing. 

So you started typing the petition right after the incident on January 26 at noon? Do you know how much time is given for investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code? You are a lawyer. How much time is given for an investigation?

You expect the investigation to be completed within two days of the incident? Does the government have a magic wand which it will wave and everything will be done? Should we dismiss it with cost or will you withdraw,” the bench asked the petitioners’ legal counsel. 

Consequently, Mr. Sharma had responded with the withdrawal of the petition filed by the 3 residents of Uttar Pradesh who were the ones seeking action against all the people who had participated in the violence. 

Permission sought is granted. Petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the bench had stated.

Part of a brief hearing, the Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta had informed the court about the 43 FIRs that had been registered with relation to the rally incident, and from those, around 13 had already been handed over to the Delhi Police’s Special Cell (Crime Branch) for further investigation.

The court had also been told by the SG about where the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act’s required provisions had been invoked while arresting people and that the “investigation was being carried out strictly in accordance with law and on priority basis looking at the seriousness of the matter.” 

The city of Delhi bore witness to violence on Republic Day during the protesting tractor rally that was held by farmers to accentuate the demands they were making for the complete revocation of the three farm laws passed by the Centre. 

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