Jamia violence: Live updates from the hearing in Delhi High Court

Jamia violence: Live updates from the hearing in Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court will be hearing pleas in matters concerning recent violent incidents in the Jamia Milia Islamia University (Jamia) and Aligarh Muslim University shortly.

The matter is being head by a Bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed that all petitions on the issue be taken to the concerned High Courts, which may then take a call whether an independent enquiry committee may be set up to probe the issue.

Live updates of today’s hearing follow

  • Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves mentions before Chief Justice DN Patel the matter concerning the release of detained students which was transferred from the Single Judge Bench. Chief Justice DN Patel says it would be taken up.
  • Counsel says the police entered the campus. One student has suffered gunshot injury which the police has denied, One student has lost his eye.  
  • Counsel refers to reports and photographic evidence to show that the police entered the campus. Police fired tear gas shells

Delhi High Court begins hearing the plea seeking a fact-finding committee into the Jamia incident. 

  • Counsel seeks an appropriate enquiry by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge, and a direction to restrain the police from acting against the students. 
  • This court has to decide what is that emergency situation the police sought to avert. Their action was atrocious , counsel for petitioner Manoj Dhiryan. 

Court takes up the third matter

  • Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde begins submissions.
  • The court has to determine what kind of fair inquiry needs to be taken into the incident, Hegde
  • Delhi police entered both the mosque and the library. Was there trouble in the hostels and the toilet which justified the Police actions? Hegde

  • Hegde Seeks setting up of a commission under the aegis of a retd Judge who is conversant with Delhi situation and has credibility
  • Court may take judicial notice of the fact that the situation is still not normal. There are apprehensions on both sides. If there are any arrests, immediately the University has to be informed, Hegde
  • Beating up should be the last resort, we cannot have resort to weaponry at the first instance, Hegde

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising makes submissions

  • Issue is how do we maintain balance between right to protest and free speech, and maintaining law and order. Nobody is in favour of violence, Jaising.
  • The situation is a subject matter of investigation. It is a matter of fact-finding as per the Supreme Court. An appropriate committee should be appointed for that purpose, Jaising.
  • All of us would like to see peace restored in the city and the country. Peace requires confidence builing measures. Let them show this is what they want and not quell lawful protests, Jaising.
  • My concerns are unregulated arrests of students. Lawyers can take care of themselves. When students got arrested, had it not been for some citizens who visited police stations at night, students would still be in police stations, Jaising.

  • What has happened has happened behind the walls of a gated University .. neither the VC nor Proctor granted permission to Delhi Police to enter the campus, Jaising.
  • Students cannot protect themselves against police brutality. There is undoubtedly beating of a severe nature. It cannot be said to be use of proportioned force, Jaising.
  • This is not one of those cases where one person is before you against an FIR. Here there are students and the State on the other hand and vulnerablity lies with the students, Jaising.
  • To the best of my knowledge, no FIR has been registered against the Delhi Police, Jaising.
  • Colvin Gonsalves actually entered where the students were and saw them cry. Is this due process and the meaning of law and order?
  • Jaising seeks orders similar to the ones which were passed in the Tis Hazari matter by the High Court in November.
  • There are documented cases of injuries suffered by students but a single case not been registered, Jaising.
  • We will oppose the inclusion of a member of Delhi Police in the Commission, Jaising.
  • This is what I considered to be the way forward, says Jaising as she reads HC’s order protecting lawyers from coersive action in the Tis Hazari case.
  • FIR has been registered against students and unknown persons and they may keep adding people, Jaising.
  • Court rises for lunch.

Post Lunch Session

  • Bench assembles. Court resumes hearing in pleas concerning violence at Jamia.
  • I would like the court to pass an order of “no victimization” against someone who gives info to the police, this is an elementary measure for victim protection, Indira Jaising.
  • Jaising bats for protection of identity of students who appear before the Committee, Jaising.
  • Even if police enters, police cannot carry firearms in a University. That is not the way to control law and order, Jaising.
  • The University has closed their doors. it has rendered the students homeless. There has to be adequate accomodation for these students till they return home or find a safe haven, Jaising. One last appeal that i make to the learned SG, when i was appointed ASG i was told that i was an amicus to the court.
  • Don’t take a stand which is adversarial.

Court takes up the next case. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves makes submissions

  • This was a peaceful march. The main attack was on totally unarmed students, Gonsalves.
  • There was no rioting. It was a totally wrong impression, Gonsalves gives a sequence of events.
  • Students were to march to the Parliament. As they left, the police attacked.., Gonsalves.
  • After the examinations were called off, the students urged the VC to not postpone them. (Later) there were attacks in the library, girls hostel, boys hostel, mosque, Gonsalves.
  • You may not believe the students but you will believe the Chief Proctor. Refers to the Proctor’s and VC’s statement on police attacks on students and faculty.
  • Gonsalves refers to a news report on the VC’s statement post-Jamia Violence.
  • This is the most significant attack on students and minority students since independence, Gonsalves. Gonsalves shows the pictures of injured students; SG Mehta: Are you sure these pictures are from Jamia? Are you sure?; Gonsalves: Yes, I am sure.

  • Gonsalves shows the Court 1) a picture of a senior Delhi Police officer attacking a student who was lying on the ground; 2) a video of police personnel carrying a bottle inside a bus. This was right before the burning of the bus, Gonsalves adds.
  • Gonsalves shows another video of police damaging the bikes. This was done to show that the agitators did it. This entire petition along with the CD was given to the SHO, Jamia Nagar PS and he said ‘we’ll see‘.
  • Gonsalves: My first prayer is register an FIR, Gonsalves
  • The parents are anxious. We want a list of all who were detained. Even today several 100 from Jamia were detained.
  • The student who had his head cracked, his mother was there.. I was there at the police station and the mother requested the Delhi Police police to let her take him for medical care later. (After a while) they took him away to the next room while the mother kept crying, Gonsalves.
  • Prayers made by Gonsalves: 1) medical assistance for injured. 2) criminal proceedings against students to be kept in abeyance 3) Preserve the CCTV footage. This is the most important that will show who is right and who is wrong, Gonsalves 4) A court-monitored committee of SC or HC Judge.
  • If VC chooses to run the University, police can’t tell them to send their students home. Reopen University if the VC runs the University. They wanted no more protests. That was the core issue. There were no incidents of rioting, Gonsalves.

Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid addresses the Court.

  • I appeal on behalf of everyone that we need to now mend whatever has happened, Khurshid.
  • Khurshid narrates a “historic moment” from 1946 when then VC Zakir Hussain addressed a gathering during that time of turmoil. “Let us not ask who lit the fire, let us now douse that fire”
  • This is about a University that has come in a crossfire between disagreements, Khurshid.

Senior Advocate N Hariharan begins for another petitioner seeks safeguarding of evidence in the case.

  • At least two medical certificates suggested that one was shot at and one suffered an eye injury, Hariharan.
  • In our times, when there were demonstrations, a warning is giving when the line is crossed. Was there a warning in this case? Hariharan.
  • Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre, Delhi Police, directs them to file their affidavits. Senior Advocates seek interim protection from coercive action for students. Matter to be heard next on February 4.
  • Bench rises.
  • Court room bursts in chants of SHAME!SHAME! as the Judges leave.

  • Couple of young lawyers in Chief Justice’s Court burst into tears. Seniors in the profession console them saying they would move the Supreme Court.

It was intimated yesterday that the Bench led by the Delhi High Court Chief Justice would take up the matter today. The prayers that are being made before the Delhi High Court include the constitution of a fact finding committee comprising former Supreme Court or High Court Judges, a direction of no coercive action against the students pursuant to any FIR registered against them till the Committee gives its findings, a direction to provide medical assistance to all injured students along with compensation and a direction against the Delhi Police not to enter University premises without the requisite permission from the authorities.

 Jamia University witnessed strong action from Delhi Police following an anti-Citizenship Act demonstrations in its campus which resulted in more than 50 students being detained at the Kalka Ji Police station and leaving several injured.

As per reports, Jamia Millia Islamia Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan has claimed that the Delhi Police entered the campus forcibly without any permission and beat up staff members and students who were forced to leave the campus.

The situation in Jamia and its surrounding areas remained tense as Police reportedly resorted to blocking the University’s entry and exit gates and used tear gas shells, lathi-charge on the protesting students. On Sunday night, hundreds of students in the city staged a protest against police action on students in front of the Delhi Police Headquarters.

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