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SC Raps Delhi High Court For a Month’s Adjournment in Delhi Riot Cases


The Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the Delhi High Court for the latter’s decision to adjourn the hearing in the cases related to the recent violence in northeast Delhi by a month. Terming the high court’s adjournment as “unjustified”, the apex court directed the high court to advance the hearing of the cases to March 6.

The bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant directed the high court to deal with the matter expeditiously and try to explore the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Notably, the violence in Delhi has resulted in 48 deaths so far and left over 200 persons injured.

“We think that adjournment of such a long period is unjustified. We also do not want to assume jurisdiction when the high court is seized with the matter. All other connected matters in the same subject which have been adjourned to a later date may be advanced and taken up along with this matter,” Justice Bobde said.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the situation was not conducive. The court, however, said violence cannot be curbed by court orders. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who was representing the riot victims, said there would have been no riots had the “main persons” been jailed while referring to alleged hate speeches made by BJP leaders.  Responding to the same, the CJI said: “We also have some experience of riots. Your statement is not absolutely true. Sometimes when you catch leaders and jai them, it flares up”.

Notably, the Delhi High Court post the hearing of a plea on February 27 seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Sahib Singh, and Kapil Mishra among others for allegedly making provocative statements that led to the Delhi violence adjourned the hearing till April 13. The high court has accepted the Centre’s stand that the time was not conducive for filing of FIRs related to the alleged hate speeches as the priority was to ensure peace.