A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan heard Senior Advocates Colin Gonsalves, Salman Khurshid, Indira Jaising and Advocates Muhammad Umar Khan, Mehmood Pracha and Siddharth Seem at length on various issues concerning the violence. These advocates appeared for various petitioners in the matter.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves not only read out the testimonials written by several Jamia students on the assault and severe beating received by them from Police, he even played two videos to show the conduct of Delhi Police inside the university campus on December 13 and 15, 2019.
“One was blinded, one had both hands broken.. one had both legs broken. This was to send a message that don’t embarrass the Govt by marching to the Parliament..the beatings were so severe as if the students were the enemy of the State“, he argued.
“They took our phones and camera.. it was almost a hostage situation. They used filthy language..I could see people bleeding and injured“, Senior Advocate Gonsalves read from the testimony of a student.
Senior Advocate Gonsalves further referred to the assault on the Imam of the mosque, breaking of the Jamia CCTV cameras and other damage done to the campus to make out his case of police misconduct.
He pointed out that Jamia Proctor himself tweeted that Delhi Police had no permission to enter the campus and that the Vice-Chancellor intended to file an FIR.
Seeking an independent SIT to investigate the violence, Senior Advocate Gonsalves stated that the criminality on part of Delhi Police was “writ large” and that Article 226, not Section 156(3) CrPC, was the only efficacious remedy before the Petitioners.
Senior Advocate Jaising also focused her argument on the need of an independent inquiry into the misconduct of police.
In the absence of a prohibitory order under Section 144 CrPC, it could be nobody’s case that students could not march to the Parliament in protest of government policies, she argued.
Senior Advocate Jaising contended that in case there was no permission to hold any protest, instead of barging into the campus and beating students, the Police ought to have allowed the law to take its own course.
Advocate Mahmood Pracha also supplemented the argument as he argued that Delhi Police could not be considered as an impartial investigator in the matter. He sought a Committee headed by either of the four retired judges suggested by him in his affidavit.
He also contended that in case of violation of fundamental rights, one has the route of judicial review under Article 226 before it to move the Court.
Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid addressed the Court on the point of certain larger issues emerging from the Jamia violence.
These were with respect to the formulation of a protocol for law enforcement agencies to enter universities, right of students to protest, use of proportional force, Police approach in case of a university crowd etc.
Apart from seeking an independent probe into allegations of police brutality in Jamia, the Petitioners have also sought compensation for those who have suffered serious injuries due to it.
After hearing the counsel till 7 pm today, the Court will continue hearing the Petitioners tomorrow.