Delhi HC to Hear Jamia Matter Only in Feb, Students Denied Interim Protection from Arrest

The court has issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and the police on pleas seeking a fact-finding committee on violence on campus.

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and the police on a public interest litigation seeking a fact-finding committee to look into the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia during protests against the Citizen (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Chief Justice D.N. Patel, however, declined interim protection to students from coercive action including arrest.

Lawyers chanted “shame shame” after his bench refused to treat the matter as urgent, setting the next date for February 2020.

The court’s decision came while hearing six petitions seeking medical treatment and compensation for injured students in the protests against CAA over the past few days.

The petitioner argued that multiple reports had confirmed that students had serious injuries, and a large number of tear gas cannons had been fired. “Fifty-two students have been seriously injured and no medical assistance have been provided to them. We seek an independent enquiry, because police can’t be expected to investigate itself,” LiveLaw quoted the petitioner as saying.

Also read: CAA Live: Police Lathicharge Protesters in Ahmedabad and Lucknow

The petitioners also asked whether the police force was justified, and what prompted them to entire enclosed spaces like the campus mosque and library to lathi-charge students and fire tear gas shells.

“Lawyers can protect themselves, how can we expect vulnerable students to do the same. Call it detention or arrest, the result is denial of liberty. It was only the pressure of civil society that compelled the police to released the students,” senior advocate Indira Jaising said, arguing that it was unfair for students to be pitted against police officials.

“No FIRs have been lodged against the police. The same should be done immediately. Also medial assistance should be provided to injured students. They’re not in position to pay for their own medical fee,” she continued, according to LiveLaw.

The petitioners were represented by advocates including Jaising, Colin Gonsalves and Salman Khurshid.

After hearing the petitioners’ arguments, the court refused to grant interim protection. It has, however, issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and police.

(With PTI inputs)