The Karnataka High Court has prima facie observed that endorsements made by the police on complaints made by victims and family members of the two deceased persons in the December 19 Mangalore police firing case will have to be withdrawn, as without registration of First Information Report, the police cannot come to the conclusion that complaint is false.
The incident of firing had occurred during a protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar granted time to the Advocate General, (AG) Prabhuling Navadgi, till March 17, to seek instructions in this behalf.
On the previous hearing, Senior Advocate Ravi Verma Kumar, appearing for petitioner H S Doreswamy, had argued that "Not a single case has been registered even after complaints by the victims." In reply, the AG had said 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.
On the directions passed by the court to call for video clips of the incident from private persons, an affidavit was filed by Jagadeesha, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Udupi District stating that he had issued publications calling upon the general public and the media persons to produce the video clips. Accordingly, one person has submitted a Compact Disk and sealed pen drive containing 50 video clippings. He has also stated that on 19th February 2020, one person submitted a compact disk and pen drive of certain video clippings from the social media. However, it was not accepted as it could not be possible to believe the genuineness of the said report.
The AG also submitted to the court that the government ordered magisterial inquiry into the incident that is likely to be concluded on 24th March 2020.
Freedom Fighter Doreswamy, in his petition has stated that 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 Hon'ble 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.
The petition prays to issue writ of mandamus to respondent to register the First Information Report in all the Compliant received from various injured persons and family members of deceased under appropriate provision of law. Also, take necessary steps to constitute a Special Investigation Team consisting of senior reputed Police officers headed by not below the rank of Additional Director of General Police officer to investigate into the FIR which resisted for the incident dated 19.12.2019 at Mangalore, under the direct supervision of this Hon'ble Court in the interest of justice and equity.