We are not a trial court, cannot assume jurisdiction of every flare-up post CAA, says CJI Bobde

Petition seeks investigation either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or National Investigation Agency or even a Special Investigation Team into the ‘violence, rioting and arson’

December 17, 2019 12:12 pm | Updated 03:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Sharad A. Bobde.

Sharad A. Bobde.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to assume jurisdiction for every instance of unrest and violence flaring up in different parts of the country post the enactment of a new law which fast-tracks benefits of citizenship by naturalisation to illegal migrants of some religions but excludes Muslims.

Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay orally mentioned his plea for an investigation either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or National Investigation Agency or even a Special Investigation Team into the “violence, rioting and arson”. He claimed the political apparatus and the State officialdom in West Bengal and Delhi were sympathising with the agitations rather than quelling them.

He said there was a need for an impartial probe into the December 12 violence in Jamia Millia Islamic University, Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, U.P., and Lalgola Railway station in West Bengal by the CBI or the NIA or a court-monitored SIT to find out the “real criminal conspirators, who are attempting to wage war and damaging unity and national integration”.

“We are not a trial court. We cannot assume jurisdiction for whatever (violence) happening all over the country. The situations may be different, facts may be different,” Justice Bobde said.

The mentioning came a few hours before the petitions, including one filed by three former Jamia Millia Islamic University students, are to be heard by the same Bench. These petitions have sought a fact-finding committee of former Supreme Court or High Court judges and NHRC members to be set up to examine the cause and consequences of the police action against the students of the Jamia Millia Islamic University and Aligarh Muslim University.

In his oral plea, Mr. Upadhyay said violence had spread across the country. Five trains were set on fire at Lalgola railway station in Murshidabad on December 14.

“West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, rather than taking action against criminals and maintaining law and order, is on the streets against the NRC and the CAA. Fair investigation is impossible by the West Bengal Police. In Delhi, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and MLAs of ruling political party are openly supporting the violent protest in Jamia University and blaming the police. Hence, investigation will not instil confidence among public at large,” Mr. Upadhyay submitted.

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