SC Dismisses PIL Seeking Judicial Inquiry into Communal Violence on Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti

The petitioner had urged the top court to set up a judicial inquiry by a commission headed by a former Chief Justice of India into recent communal clashes. 

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 26, dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a judicial inquiry into recent communal clashes that took place in various parts of the country, during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, Indian Express has reported.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice B.R. Gavai, turned down the PIL filed by an advocate, Vishal Tiwari, who sought a judicial inquiry by a commission headed by a former Chief Justice of India into the recent communal clashes.

“You want inquiry to be headed by former CJI? Is anybody free? Find out…What kind of relief is this…,” the bench admonished the petitioner. “What sort of relief you are asking? Don’t ask for relief which the court cannot grant.”

The petitioner, Tiwari, urged the top court to hold an inquiry into the clashes that were reported recently from Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat during Ram Navami. He also drew the attention of the court to the “bulldozer justice” meted out, arbitrarily, to several people in the aftermath of communal riots.

“Such actions are absolutely discriminatory and do not fit into the notion of democracy and rule of law,” the petitioner said in his plea.

More recently, the same bench of the Supreme Court said it would take a “serious view” of the fact that demolitions continued in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 20 even after the court had issued orders to maintain the status quo.

“We’ll take a serious view of demolition that took place after information was given to Mayor,” the bench had said.

The court extended its stay order on the demolition drive launched by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) until further orders. It also issued notices to NDMC, Union government and the state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to file a counter-affidavit within two weeks in petitions filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

The matter will now be heard on May 2. Jamiat, in its petition, had said that actions like razing a house, as means of punishment, were unknown to criminal law.