The Delhi High Court Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking the release of protesters “illegally detained” by the police in connection with the Republic Day violence, and said the arrested persons cannot be released without going into the merits of FIRs and investigation.
The court directed the Delhi Police to complete investigation in the FIRs registered against protesters as early as possible.
The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said, “The arrested persons cannot be released without entering into the merits of FIRs and the investigation. This appears to be a Publicity Interest Litigation,” the court observed as it dismissed the petition.
The court also said that the police will act in accordance with the law with regard to persons who have been arrested by them. Within 24 hours, the arrested persons will have to be produced before the nearest magistrate, said the court.
Advocate Ashima Mandla, who represented the petitioner Harman Preet Singh, earlier informed the court that Delhi Police on Monday released a statement that 122 persons have been arrested and 44 FIRs have been registered.
In the petition, Singh said “the notion of liberty cannot be diffused even in emergencies” and alleged that more than 200 persons have been detained in connection with the alleged violence which broke out in the national capital on the Republic Day during the farmers’ tractor rally.
However, the court said it was not with the petitioner and would not even issue a notice in the case. About the persons allegedly missing after January 26, the court said the petitioner has not contacted any of their relatives, adding it may be that they have gone out “for their own personal work”. We see no reason to entertain the writ petition, the court added.
Delhi Police has arrested 122 people, including those in their 70s and 80s, in connection with the violence during the kisan tractor parade on Republic Day, and registered six more FIRs.
On Monday, Delhi Police spokesperson Dr Eish Singhal said 44 FIRs have been registered so far and 122 people arrested. Police have sent notices to 54 farm leaders and 200 owners of tractors — the latter identified with help from the transport department — but they have not responded. The tractor owners have been summoned for questioning, said police.
“Information about the cases concerned has been updated on the official Delhi Police website, as per guidelines of the Supreme Court… Kin of those arrested can also seek information from police stations. We appeal to the public to not believe in rumours. Investigation carried out by the Delhi Police is transparent and fair,” said Singhal. ( Indian Express )