Published: 16th December 2019
We will not be bullied and cannot be held to ransom while public properties are destroyed: CJI on Jamia protests
The court observed that just because they are students, they can't take the law into their own hands, adding that it would hear the matter on Tuesday
Chief Justice SA Bobde said the Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, held in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University and Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday but added that the judicial system would not be bullied, and cannot be held to ransom while public properties are destroyed. He said that the court is not commenting on whether the students are responsible or insinuating that the police are innocent.
The court observed that just because they are students, they can't take the law into their own hands, adding that it would hear the matter on Tuesday if no violent protests take place. "We know what are rights....What is this? Public properties are being destroyed. We will decide it in a cool frame of mind," said the Chief Justice to the lawyers.
A group of lawyers led by senior advocate Indira Jaising and Collin Gonsalves mentioned the matter before the court urging it to take suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the alleged violence unleashed against students who are holding protest against the Act. "The only thing we want is that the violence must stop," the bench said, adding, "If protests and violence and damage of public property will be there, we will not hear the matter."
The bench, led by the CJI and comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, asked the lawyers to file their petitions and said it would hear them tomorrow.
Two cases have been registered in connection with violence at Jamia Millia Islamia and adjoining areas on Sunday following protests against the amended Citizenship Act, according to Delhi Police. The university had turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Act. "One case has been registered at Jamia Nagar Police Station and another case registered at New Friends Colony Police Station," a senior police official said.