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SC Defers the Hearing of the Shaheen Bagh Matter to 23 March

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred hearing on the Shaheen Bagh issue till March 23 next month. “Let this fandom cool down. The timing is not conducive to hear this matter. It is for law enforcing administration to ensure environment is conducive,” a Bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.

Justice Joseph said that there was lack of professionalism on part of the police. “The problem is lack of professionalism of police. If this had been done before, this situation would not have risen.”  Police doesn’t have to wait for orders if someone makes inflammatory statements but act in accordance with law, the court said.

Justice Joseph also gave the example of police in US and UK and said the force has to act professionally as per law if something goes wrong. He added that the remarks are made not in adversarial context but to ensure that law and order is maintained. The court also said that the need to implement the guidelines given in the Prakash Singh case has come.

The Supreme Court said, now it is necessary for all the parties to exercise restraint. Starting the hearing on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, “We believe that some unfortunate incidents have happened, but the scope of the petition filed before us is limited.” On the plea to link the Zafarabad case with it, the Supreme Court said, we do not want to increase the scope of this petition. The Court said that the Delhi High Court is already hearing on the issue of violence and had already issued a notice.

Hearing the Shaheen Bagh issue, Justice Kaul said, “This is a very limited matter before us. We are not inclined to expand the scope of this petition.” The court also refused to discuss the report of the interlocutors which they submitted after trying to negotiate with the Shaheen Bagh protesters. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the government during the hearing said, “One constable died in the violence in Northeast Delhi, while DCP level officer has been lynched.”