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Delhi Riots: New Plea In SC Seeks SIT Probe And Action Against Police

Radhika Roy
2 March 2020 4:50 PM GMT
Delhi Riots: New Plea In SC Seeks SIT Probe And Action Against Police
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A PIL has been filed at the Supreme Court of India for directions to be issued to command responsibility from police officers and for the setting up of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) monitored by the Apex Court to ensure justice for the victims of the riots which took place in New Delhi in February 2020. 

Filed by social activist Yogita Bhayana, the PIL states that despite the...

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A PIL has been filed at the Supreme Court of India for directions to be issued to command responsibility from police officers and for the setting up of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) monitored by the Apex Court to ensure justice for the victims of the riots which took place in New Delhi in February 2020. 



Filed by social activist Yogita Bhayana, the PIL states that despite the riots which haven witnessed in the history of the country, the impunity and failure of police officials to prevent the same continues without accountability. It prays for commanding responsibility from the police officers for their inability in containing the riots or helping the victims who faced mob attacks.



The PIL asserts that the legal doctrine of Command Responsibility or Superior Responsibility must be adopted so as to enforce a system of accountability wherein police officers/political leaders are directly held responsible for not stopping riots and, saving life and property.



"The modern doctrine of superior responsibility originated in the post-World War II military tribunals established to adjudicate crimes committed during the war. Subsequent codifications of the doctrine have given it clear expression in international law. International law has further established the customary law status of the doctrine of superior responsibility. The modern doctrine of superior responsibility originates from the military tribunals established to adjudicate war crimes committed during World War II." 



The plea makes an effort to convey that the aforementioned legal doctrine is also the law of India and governs the instant case. To buttress this point, the case of Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India (1996), Gramophone Co. of India Ltd. v. Birendra Bahadur Pandey (1984) and Article 372 of the Constitution of India have been cited.


The PIL not only invokes multiple Articles from the Constitution of India and Sections of Code of Criminal Procedure, The Police Act, 1861, National Security Act, 1980, but it also refers to the United Nations Genocide Convention to make its stand. 

The reliefs prayed for by the Petitioner are as follows:



"a) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents Set-up a Court Monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Officers with impeccable integrity to investigate all deaths of persons in the Delhi Riots 2020 including into the murder of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Ankit Sharma, damaging/ destruction/vandalizing of places of worship in Ashok Nagar & elsewhere in Delhi, incidents of throwing of acid on CRPF & destruction of home of a BSF Jawan & failure of Police Officers to prevent riots/violence and Dereliction/Omissions/Failure by Police Officers to provide necessary help to victims despite receiving such information on Police Helpline No (112);



b) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to initiate Departmental Action against Police Officers for failure to prevent Riots/Violence and Dereliction/Omissions/Failure by Police Officers to provide necessary help to victims.



c) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to immediately preserve the CDR (Call Detail Record)/Tower Locations of all Police Officers posted in Riot Effected Areas & their Superiors in the chain of Command under supervision of a Judicial Officer during Delhi Riots and submit to this Hon'ble Court. 



d) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to immediately preserve all Voice Call Recordings of the Police Helpline Number 112 during the Delhi Riots under supervision of a Judicial Officer and submit to this Hon'ble Court. 

e) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to immediately preserve all CCTV recordings of Police Stations and CCTV recordings of riot affected localities under supervision of a Judicial Officer and submit to this Hon'ble Court.



f) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to immediately take action against Police Officers under IPC for destruction of evidence by destroying CCTV at various riot hit places and submit Action Taken Report to this Hon'ble Court. 



g) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to preserve Records of all mobile phones operating at all Mobile Towers in riot affected areas under supervision of a Judicial Officer and submit to this Hon'ble Court. 

h) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to Provide adequate Compensation for loss of life and injury, Medical Aid, Essential Relief Supplies, Rehabilitation, Reimburse and Repair AA Damaged Private Properties of riots affected persons under supervision of a Judicial Officer;



i) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to hold Legal Aid Camps for Victims with Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) 

j) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to abide by the National Guidelines on Prevention & Accountability of Communal Violence (including Command Responsibility) issued by this Hon'ble Court."



Social activist Yogita Bhayana is being represented by Advocate Utsav Singh Bains.

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