The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the State Government to inform by the next date on what action it has taken on the complaints filed by the victims and family members of the two persons who died in the December 19, 2019, police firing incident during the Anti Citizenship Amendment Act, protest rally.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar also directed the government to ascertain whether any video footage is recorded by the private parties of the incident. If such a video recording is available the same must be preserved. The bench gave the direction while hearing a plea filed by 102 year old, Freedom Fighter, H S Doreswamy.
Senior Advocate Ravi Verma Kumar argued for the petitioners that "Not a single case has been registered even after complaints by the victims." Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi informed the court that investigation has been transferred from the local police to the CID. All the complaints have been endorsed and handed over to the new investigating agency."
The Advocate General also informed the court that the government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident which would be completed within three months. A request to expedite it has also been made to the district magistrate. It was also said that the National Human Rights Commission has asked the State Human Rights Commission to look into the matter, thus the court could have a report of the State Human Rights Commission for its benefit. A preliminary report of the Magistrate inquiry was also submitted to the court in a sealed envelope.
State Human Rights Commission has powers to recommend action or compensation to the state government. Thus a writ petition can be entertained. The report of the SHRC and the magistrate inquiry can be considered in this petition, said the Bench.
As per the Petition, "Police have registered about 32 FIR's in connection with the incident at Mangalore city. Some of the FIR's which have been registered are against unknown persons by referring to them as "unknown Muslim youth". Close perusal of the complaints reveal that there are no complaints against the police personnel for injury caused to persons due to police firing or lathi charge. However, the same was inflicted indiscriminately towards protesters and bystanders alike.
It adds that similar violence has also taken place in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In the case of violence that occurred in Uttar Pradesh, the High Court of Allahabad has converted a letter into a Public Interest Litigation and issued notices to the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, the action of the respondent is illegal, arbitrary, malicious, and wrongful, which is a clear violation of fundamental guarantees confirmed under the provisions of part III of the Constitution of India.