Wednesday, February 1, 2023

You Cannot Malign Constitutional Authorities Like This, Says SG Tushar Mehta Objecting To Statement Made By Petitioners: Jamia Violence

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Today, during the hearing before Delhi High Court in plea related to the violence during Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university protests, SG Tushar Mehta appearing for Delhi Police objected certain statements made by the petitioners in their rejoinder affidavit and said you cannot malign constitutional authorities like this.

The Court noted the objections and asked the Senior Advocates Colin Gonsalves to remove them. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves agreed to it and said that he will delete the particular lines immediately not because he thinks he was wrong but because he does not think that these statements are worth the court’s time or his time.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was hearing a batch of petitions concerning violence that broke out at Jamia University last year following the Anti-CAA protest.

During the course of today’s hearing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while reading out the rejoinder filed by the Petitioner submitted that, “the Petitioners have already found Delhi Police guilty of destructing private property.”

He further submitted that there is no evidence to suggest that the Home Minister himself directed the police to mercilessly beat the students. ‘You cannot malign a constitutional functionary like this”, Mehta added.

He further suggested that such allegations look appropriate in public speeches but not in affidavits filed before a constitutional court. Moreover, the statements were unsubstantiated and was an example of irresponsible pleadings by the Petitioners, said Mehta.

‘Irresponsible pleadings are becoming the order of the day. This must be dealt with seriously. Article 226 cannot be invoked for such irresponsible pleadings,’ argued Mehta.

Mehta further urged the bench to ask the Petitioners as to what is the material they were relying upon for making such allegations. “You can make allegations against the PM also, but they should be backed by evidence” Mehta added.

The bench thereafter questioned the Petitioners as to why are they making such allegations in their rejoinder?

SG Tushar Mehta further urged the bench list the matter for final hearing.

The bench said that the matter shall be decided as soon as possible.

Indira Jaisingh appearing for one of the petitioners submitted that there are no allegations against the Home Minister in the rejoinder filed by her.

She further urged the bench to decide the matter expeditiously since the matter has been pending for a long time.

The court while passing the order noted that the Petitioner has decided to remove the direct allegations made against the Home Minister in his rejoinder.

The matter has been listed for next hearing on Monday.

-India Legal Bureau

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