New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the police response on CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat’s plea seeking early hearing of her petition for making public the list of persons arrested in connection with the violence in the northeast Delhi in February this year.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar issued notice to Delhi Police and gave it three weeks to file the response to Karat’s application seeking early hearing.
With the direction, the bench listed the matter for further hearing June 17.
The main petition, which has sought that a list of the arrested persons be put up outside the police control room and police stations in the district, and should be updated on a case-by-case basis, is listed for hearing June 16.
The application for early hearing said the whole country is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared the national lockdown due to which people are not allowed to go out except for essential services.
However, it said, Delhi Police have continued investigation in connection with certain FIRs related to the February riots and as per media reports, the MHA has directed the police to ensure that the probe does not slow down and insisted that arrests should continue, resulting in around 50 arrests in the first two weeks of the lockdown itself.
“Therefore, in this situation when there is limited access to courts, unavailability of lawyers, it is more important on the part of the Delhi Police to follow the law of the land, to comply with the provisions of CrPC with due regard for the health, safety and fundamental rights of the concerned persons,” said the plea, filed through advocate Tara Narula.
It further said that during the investigation into the riots cases, people are unable to avail their rights and the family members are not given proper information about the persons arrested or detained by the police.
The application has sought directions that copies of FIR, remand application, orders of remand, grounds of arrest and charge sheets be supplied through e-mail/ Whatsapp/ post to the families and counsel of accused persons.
It also sought that a status report be called from the police disclosing the names and numbers of persons detained and arrested by the probe agency in relation to the violence in the duration of the lockdown, that is, since March 24.
The high court had earlier sought responses from the Delhi government and the police on Karat’s petition.
The petition has also urged the court to direct that “all complaints alleging acts, offences and atrocities by members of the police, Rapid Action Force or state functionaries in relation to the widespread attacks in northeast Delhi be investigated by an independent investigating agency/team”.
In February, clashes broke out in northeast Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.