3 Sep 2021 2:17 PM GMT
The Superintendent of Police (District Bidar), on Friday filed an affidavit before the Karnataka High Court, stating that a report has been sent to the Director-General and Inspector-General of police (DGIGP), to take appropriate disciplinary action against the concerned police officers, who were present in uniform and carrying firearms while interrogating minor children, with regard to...
The Superintendent of Police (District Bidar), on Friday filed an affidavit before the Karnataka High Court, stating that a report has been sent to the Director-General and Inspector-General of police (DGIGP), to take appropriate disciplinary action against the concerned police officers, who were present in uniform and carrying firearms while interrogating minor children, with regard to the sedition case on staging of an anti-CAA drama at Shaheen Education Society in Bidar last year.
On August 16, the High Court had in its order made a prima facie observation that the presence of policemen in their uniforms, carrying weapons, while interrogating children with regard to the sedition case was a serious violation of the provisions under the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Further, it had directed the state government to file an affidavit stating on record what action had been initiated against the said police officers.
In response to the directions, the affidavit filed by Superintendent of Police Nagesh D L, states that,
"I state that it is the responsibility of the Investigation Officer (the then Deputy Superintendent of Police) to ensure that there is strict compliance of sub rule (5) of Rule 86 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules 2016 and in view of the same and keeping in mind the order dated 16-08-2021 passed by this Hon'ble Court in the above proceedings, I have sent a report dated 31-08-2021 to the Director General and Inspector. General of Police, Bengaluru, to take appropriate disciplinary action against the concerned persons."
Further, the affidavit states that the investigation officer was in a mufti (not in uniform) while his subordinates who are seen in the photographs were in their uniform.
"I state that when I orally inquired it was informed that they have not interacted with any of the children and they have entered the hall only for the purpose of assisting the investigation officer."
During the hearing, the government advocate informed the court that, "We have recommended conducting departmental inquiry. Now the DGIGP will take further steps, by this the very prayer of the petition comes to an end."
To this the court said "We will keep this pending and we will monitor it. You have recommended the matter for departmental inquiry so we will keep it pending and monitor it."
Senior Advocate Ravi Varma Kumar, appearing for the petitioner submitted that in the order dated August 16, the state was directed to issue a direction to the police throughout the state to ensure that such violation of rights of children does not take place again, however, the affidavit is silent on this aspect. The government counsel submitted that the second part of the direction issued in the order would be complied with.
The court thus went on to note,
"An affidavit has been filed, however there is only partial compliance, meaning thereby it has been stated that matter has been forwarded to the Director general of police and Inspector General of Police, for initiating disciplinary action against the persons involved. There was another direction issued to the state government to consider issuing a direction to the police throughout the state, which will ensure that such violation of rights of children are not repeated, which is subject matter of this PIL. The affidavit is silent on this issue in regards to directions issued by this court in its order dated August 16. Four weeks time is given to state government to comply with the order dated August 16. State government shall also file a fresh affidavit in respect of the stage of the proposed department inquiry."
The matter will be next heard on October 21.
The directions were made while hearing a petition filed by Lawyer Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring which stated that about 85 children, some as young as 9 years of age, were subjected to police interrogation. This made the environment very hostile and affected the children' mental psychology, the petition had averred.
Students of the Shaheen Education Society belonging to classes 4, 5 and 6 had staged a play on the CAA and NRC, last year. Following that, an FIR was registered at the Bidar New Town police station, for sedition against the school authorities for performing "anti-national activities" and "spreading negative opinion" about Parliamentary laws, based on a complaint by activist Nilesh Rakshala. Pursuant to the FIR, the Headmistress of the school, as well as a parent of a child, was arrested. They were later released on bail.
Case Title: Nayana Jyothi Jhawar v. State Of Karnataka
Case No: Wp 3485/2020