Jamia Violence: Live updates from the Supreme Court of India

Jamia Violence: Live updates from the Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court is presently in the midst of hearing matters concerning violent incidents that took place at Jamia Milia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University.

Following a mention of the matter by various counsel including Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter today, provided that the environment of “rioting” stops.

Live updates of today’s hearing follow:

  • Jamia Protests hearing to commence in Supreme Court. CJI SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Suryakant to hear the matter

Mehmood Pracha making Submissions

  • Counsel tells the Court that with the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019  there was discontent across the country. This Act was tried to be painted as Anti Muslims and the first protest was sparked in the north-east
  • There is a siege in Jamia and AMU and the right to peaceful protest should be upheld, Counsel to the Supreme Court
  • CJI Bobde: Each of the incidents has happened in different places and different steps have been taken by different authorities, and there are different grievances
  • Mehmood Pracha: If the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene, the situation will spiral further. Violence is no longer happening
  • CJI : How many buses were burnt
  • Pracha: That will be found in the inquiry
  • CJI: We are surprised. You are not aware of facts and we are not a Court of establishing facts
  • Pracha: The point is the Government is trying to paint this in bad light
  • CJI Bobde: We are not going to go into the Government’s stand here. We’re not on the point of deciding on the #CAA2019 right now
  • CJI Bobde: We are telling you to go to an appropriate Court for establishing facts

Indira Jaising Submissions

  • Senior Counsel Indira Jaising begins her submissions now, brings the Court’s attention to the relief sought in the petition filed by Vaibhav Mishra and Ors
  • FIRs being filed against students across the Country. My request is only this that let the law take its own course, but please pass an order… If you want peace, then FIRs cannot be filed against innocent students and thrown into jail
  • Jaising: Yesterday your Lordships asked for peace to be maintained… I’m seeking relief in the way of peace measures
  • CJI Bobde: If a police officer sees that some stones are being pelted etc., then FIR should not be filed?
  • Jaising: I’m seeking no coercive action to be taken against students
  • Jaising: It is an established law – Universities are private property and not where police can trespass without VC’s authorization
  • Jaising: I’m also seeking free humanitarian medical aid. Mr. Gonsalves will tell you how one of his own interns lost eyesight and there are people who have broken bones. It is the duty of the medical services to provide free medical aid in emergency situations
  • Jaising: There is a situation now where the university is shut down prior to the date scheduled, where are they to go now in the dead of winter?
  • CJI: To you also we will say that let the facts be established before the High Court. Each of our Chief Justices (of High Courts) will take appropriate action and pass requisite action and then if you have any concerns, you can come to us. Let us have the benefit of High Court orders.
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta seeks to intervene, Jaising opposes and seeks for her arguments to be completed first
  • Jaising: If this is not a fact-finding Court, some agency can be fact-finding. Who is going to be the agency?
  • CJI Bobde: Our Chief Justices (of High Court) will do the needful
  • Jaising: I feel whichever agency is appointed must inspire the confidence of the student community. Retired Supreme Court judges do inspire confidence.
  • CJI Bobde: That can still be done by the Chief Justice of the High Court
  • Jaising draws a parallel with the Supreme Court’s recent order in Telangana Encounter case and asks: “what prevents this Court from appointing the agency”
  • CJI Bobde: In Telangana Encounter case, one commission could look into the matter. In this case, there are various incidents in different parts and one commission cannot have the jurisdiction of that sort

Colin Gonsalves making Submissions now

  • Senior Counsel Colin Gonsalves says Jamia Vice-Chancellor has issued a statement which is very pertinent and relates to the facts
  • Gonsalves: there was an impression that the students were the rioters
  • CJI Bobde: We never said that
  • Gonsalves: Your Lordships didn’t say that but there was an impression that was tried to be created
  • Gonsalves seeks to read out Jamia VC’s statement published in the newspaper
  • CJI Bobde: We are not going to read the newspapers to arrive at judicial decisions
  • Gonsalves continues with his submissions, says Jamia is now in a better state, but AMU is in a disturbing state with several students sustaining severe injuries.
  • Gonsalves: If a fact-finding committee can be sent to Aligarh today, the torture and beating of students may stop. If a retired Judge can be sent to Aligarh?
  • CJI Bobde: We will see to it that something is done, cannot assure that a retired Judge will be sent
  • Sanjay Hegde makes brief submissions
  • CJI Bobde: We have told you multiple times that our Chief Justices (of High Courts) will take the necessary steps

Court asks Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about the two concerns – 1) Students being arrested without notice to authorities 2) No medical attention being given to students

Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta
Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta
  • Mehta: 67 persons, including students and other miscreants, sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. Several police personnel also sustained injuries
  • SG Mehta: No student is arrested. We have to be responsible while arguing on facts. No students are in jail, were never in jail
  • Mehta: Students were taken to the hospital, given medical care and no money was charged. In some time, Jamia University Officer came and he identified the students and took them.
  • CJI Bobde: What about the claim that there are hospitalized students who are not getting attention?
  • Mehta: One more thing, there was a rumor spread that two students had died
  • Jaising: We never said or claimed that. Why is he addressing the rumors?
  • CJI Bobde: We are asking about the medical attention
  • Mehta: The Delhi Police had to make use of tear gas shells to disperse the crowd and one of the protesters picked up the shell and tried to throw it back when it exploded and that is why they sustained injuries.
  • Gonsalves: Please send a retired SC judge to Aligarh
  • Jaising: Please pass orders for peacekeeping measures. Just by asking in Open Court for maintenance of peace, it won’t help.
  • Supreme Court dictating its order now.

Order

  • Supreme Court: Having regard to the nature of the matter and dispute and the vast area over which the matter is spread, we do not think it is feasible to appoint one committee for this.
  • Supreme Court directs the petitioners to approach the High Courts within whose jurisdiction the incidents have occurred.
  • Supreme Court “we are confident that appropriate inquiries will be made”
  • The Supreme Court says that the High Court may appoint former Judges of the Supreme Court to conduct an inquiry after hearing the Union of India and the concerned State Government also.

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