Delhi HC refuses to entertain plea for release of persons detained in connection with farmers’ protests

The Court was informed that asper Delhi Police, 122 persons had been arrested after being named in 44 FIRs

Delhi High Court (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Delhi High Court (Photo Courtesy: PTI)

NH Web Desk

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a petition seeking the immediate release of all persons ‘illegally arrested and detained’ on/after January 26 in connection with the farmers’ protests from areas in and around the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital.

While calling the PIL a "publicity interest litigation", a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh nonetheless directed the Delhi Police to complete its investigation into the FIRs registered in connection with the violence that took place during the tractor rally of January 26, as per a report carried by Bar & Bench.

"Delhi Police is directed to complete investigation in FIRs registered as early as possible and practicable within the time-bound schedule", the Court ordered.

The Court was informed that as per Delhi Police, 122 persons had been arrested after being named in 44 FIRs.

Claiming that there was a discrepancy with respect to the number of arrested persons in view of newspaper reports, counsel for the petitioner pressed for a direction to the police to place its status report on record.

She stated that the PIL was not solely based on newspaper reports, and that a list of 15 missing persons was attached with the petition.

She asserted that the PIL was not filed for publicity and that the petitioner, Harman Preet Singh, belonged to the village from where persons have been missing since January 26-27. In response to the Court's query, she stated that she had conducted a "personal survey" with the families of these missing people.

The Court, however, remarked that such allegations should come on individual affidavits filed by the families of the missing persons. It said, "(What if) we issue notice and these persons have gone from their personal work?"

Further opining that the counsel for the petitioner was not aware of the details with respect to the FIRs registered by Delhi Police and the nature of the allegations, the Court found no merit in the matter, and went on to dismiss it.

In a related development, the same Bench adjourned till February 4 another PIL seeking an investigation into the incidents which happened during the tractor rally of January 26.

The Court asked counsel for the Commissioner of Delhi Police to come back with instructions as to who sought the permission for the rally and from whom.

In this PIL, a direction is sought to arrest those who "disrespected the National Flag" and vandalised property. A probe is also sought into how such a serious security lapse could have taken place.

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