Kejriwal assails Centre over Patiala House Courts attacks

Kejriwal alleged that the Centre was not arresting the accused to keep the pot boiling over the issue.

February 18, 2016 05:27 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:59 am IST - New Delhi

Attacking the Modi government for “not following” the Supreme Court order for maintaining peace at Patiala House Courts, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said such a situation could lead to “dictatorship” and insisted courts be “shut down” if issues like what is anti-national are to be adjudged outside judiciary.

Reacting to attacks on media persons and JNU students and teachers in Patiala House courts complex despite the directives of the apex court to maintain order there, the Chief Minister said, “This was a message that the Centre was giving to the Supreme Court that do whatever you like, we will not follow your orders. It has given an open challenge.”

Talking to reporters after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee on the JNU row, the Chief Minister said if Supreme Court’s order is not followed, “then there will be no such thing called Constitution. Then it will be the Centre and the Prime Minister’s dictatorship. This is something very serious. There is no judiciary after that.”

Questioning the failure of the police to arrest Delhi BJP MLA O.P. Sharma, accused of beating up a student in the court complex, Mr. Kejriwal said “A BJP MLA and some anti-social elements attacked students, journalists and innocent people at the Patiala Court. When those who attacked the journalists, students at the Patiala Court were asked why did they attack, they said they were shouting pro-Pakistan slogans. If anyone raises pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans should we kill him?

“It’s like if anyone commits murder and police asks about the reason for it, the accused will say he was raising pro-Pakistan slogans. And then police will let him off. Is this a new law in this country?”

Flanked by his Cabinet colleagues, Mr. Kejriwal said that a “new law” is being followed in the country where anyone can be killed on the pretext of raising anti-national slogans.

“Why is O.P. Sharma still this a new law...who will decide whether it is against the nation? Then shut down the Supreme Court and High Court,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He said the Centre had on Wednesday given an open challenge to the apex court saying “we don’t follow your orders. Do whatever you want. This is dangerous for the nation.”

He said if the Centre could not arrest those involved in the act, then how they can arrest Pathankot terrorists.

Mr. Kejriwal alleged that the Centre was not arresting the accused to keep the pot boiling over the issue.

Lambasting the Modi government over its “failure” to arrest four students who raised anti-national slogans at the JNU, Mr. Kejriwal said why the Centre can’t bring justice by arresting those involved in the act.

“Why has the Centre not been able to arrest (those involved in anti-India sloganeering) so many days after the incident. There can only be two reasons.

“Either the Centre does not want to arrest them so that the pot keeps boiling over the issue. Or is it that despite a force of 80,000 police personnel, the paramilitary forces, RAW, IB at their disposal the Centre is unable to arrest four students. If they cannot even arrest four students who raised anti-national slogans, how can they arrest Pathankot terrorists. They have failed, they don’t want to arrest them,” Mr. Kejriwal said after meeting the President.

He said all political parties, students and teachers have been demanding action against those involved in anti-India sloganeering.

“That the Centre has been unable to arrest those who gave anti-national slogans raises questions. No person belonging to any political party or ideology will tolerate anti-India activities. No student or teacher is saying that they support anti-India activities. Everybody is demanding action,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.

The delegation also apprised the President of threat calls to Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra over the on-going JNU row.

“He has been receiving calls since morning saying ‘You have been speaking a lot over the JNU issue’ I want to say that we are not afraid of such calls. Do whatever you want.

“It is a serious matter. If Ministers receive calls like this, it is not right from the country’s point of view,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

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