Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Petitions Against Planned Uttarakhand Mahapanchayat

"Law and order is for the administration to handle. You move the high court. Why do you come here?" Justice Nath said.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (June 14) refused to entertain petitions against the mahapanchayat planned in Uttarakhand for June 15. The court said that the petitioners could approach the high court or go to other concerned authorities as per the law, LiveLaw reported.

The petition was heard by a vacation bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah. Advocate Shahrukh Alam appeared for the petitioners, seeking urgent hearing as the mahapanchayat is to be held on Thursday.

“Law and order is for the administration to handle. You move the high court. Why do you come here?” Justice Nath said.

“Why do you express distrust in approaching HC? If there is a mandamus by this Court, High Court will pass orders. You should have some trust in the high court.Why can’t you trust the administration?”, Justice Amanullah asked.

Alam responded that the petitioners had approached the Supreme Court in view of the earlier mandamus issued by it to the Uttarakhand government in a hate speech matter. However, the judges held that the high court pass orders based on the Supreme Court’s direction.

In two separate letter petitions filed on Tuesday, Hindi scholars Ashok Vajpeyi and Apoorvanand and the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties had asked the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Uttarakhand high court Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi to prevent a mahapanchayat from happening in Uttarakhand’s Purola town on June 15 because it could lead to communal tensions and large-scale violence.

The petitions sought judicial intervention ahead of the Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan’s mahapanchayat. Earlier in the day, 52 former civil servants wrote to Uttarakhand’s chief secretary and police chief expressing their concern about communal tensions in the state.

Communal campaigns have been on the rise in parts of Uttarakhand of late, with Muslim families and businesses allegedly being targeted. Posters surfaced in Purola threatening the town’s Muslim community to shut their businesses after two people, a Hindu and a Muslim, allegedly abducted a minor Hindu girl. Also, shops belonging to Muslims in the nearby town of Barkot were marked with black crosses.