On Monday, the Allahabad High Court directed the Director General of Police of the UP Government to identify and take action against the policemen who were involved in "stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students" of the Aligarh Muslim University.
The order has been passed by the division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal on the basis of a recommendation made by the National Human Rights Commission.
Last month the high court had directed the NHRC to probe into the allegations of police violence and complete the investigation within 5 weeks, in a PIL filed by one Mohd. Aman Khan.
He had alleged that the students were protesting peacefully against the Citizenship Amendment Act since December 13, 2019. However, on December 15, 2019, the Para Military Force and the State Police, for no just and valid reasons, charged Lathi with massive amount of firing of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets and Pellets on the students of AMU.
The investigation was conducted by a six-member team of the NHRC, which recommended that action must be taken against the delinquent policemen in accordance with the law apart from compensating the injured students.
The report submitted by the Commission to the court entailed the following recommendations:
"a) Directing the Chief Secretary Govt. of Uttar Pradesh to provide suitable compensation to the six students who have been grievously injured commensurate with their injuries, on humanitarian grounds.
b) Directing the DGP-Uttar Pradesh to identify the policemen (both district police and PAC), as seen in CCTV footages involved in stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students which has no bearing on the task of controlling law and order. A suitable action may also be taken against them as per rules and provisions that exist for subordinate officers in UP Police. The police force should be sensitized and special training modules be carried out to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations.
c) Similar directions as in point (b) above may also be given to the Director General, CRPF for RAF. RAF being a specialized force primarily set up to deal with riots and handle law and order situations, should show utmost professionalism in such crisis situations while at the same time, respecting the human rights of civilians also.
d) Directing DGP of UP, to ensure that the SIT set up vide his order dated 06/01/2020 investigates all the related cases on merits and in a time bound manner. The Hon'ble court may also like to set the time limit and periodic review, if any, for the completion of investigations on time.
e) The DGP UP and Senior Officers are also advised to improve and set up a robust intelligence gathering system. Special steps may be taken to counter rumour mongering and circulation of disorted and false news especially on the social media. This is to better control such law and order incidents which occur spontaneously and unexpectedly.
f) To direct the AMU-Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other authorities to establish a mechanism of better communication with the students' fraternity so that they are not influenced by outsiders and rusticated unruly students. They should take up all confidence building measures to rebuild the trust of students so that such incidents do not occur in future."
The court has asked the officers concerned to adhere with the recommendations at the earliest and to submit a compliance report on March 25.
"The Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General, Central Reserve Police Force, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University and the Registrar, Aligarh Muslim University are directed to adhere with the recommendations made by the Commission at earliest. A report of compliance be presented before this Court on next date of listing. Let the writ petition be listed on 25th March, 2020," it was directed.
Case Title: Mohd. Aman Khan v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: Crl. Misc. WP No. 26085/2019
Quorum: Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal
Appearance: Advocate Maha Prasad (for Petitioner); ASG Alok Ranjan Mishra, Govt Advocate Shashank Shekhar Singh (for State)
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