New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought Centre’s stand over a plea seeking court’s direction restraining the police from picking or arresting the Delhi riots-2020 victims/persons protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act on the pretext of investigation and sending them to jail in riots-related cases during lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
While issuing notice on the plea filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, the court said, “All the individuals named in the petition, who are stated to have been arrested thus far, are at liberty to institute appropriate proceedings, in accordance with law, including seeking regular bail, before the courts of competent jurisdiction, in the meantime.”
The petition said when the country is fighting against the pandemic Covid-19, the Delhi police on the pretext of investigation of offences related to the riots in February is arresting suspects from their houses and sending them to jail. This has come at a time when the Supreme Court has suo-motu taken cognizance of the pandemic’s spread and directed all states and Union Territories to decongest jails and release prisoners on bail, parole and furloughs.
“The unilateral, arbitrary and unwarranted act of Delhi Police, if not checked, will frustrate the very purpose of order passed by the Supreme Court and would also frustrate the purpose of ’emergency parole’ for inmates which the Delhi government introduced by amending its Prison Rules and newly inserted rule in Delhi Prison Rules for reducing congestion in jails by directing the release of prisoners,” the plea said.
The plea also stated that the role of the Delhi Police is “biased, having communal colour” and it is also “discriminatory.”
The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind also sought court’s directions to hold the investigation which is being carried out in connection with the riots that broke out in the North East district of the national capital. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a retired judge is carrying out the probe.