Republic Day violence: Supreme Court declines to entertain pleas for independent probe

‘We saw a statement by the Prime Minister in the media that law will take its course. We don’t want to interfere at this stage,’ CJI Bobde told a PIL petitioner

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a bunch of petitions seeking an independent inquiry into the Republic Day violence amid the farmers’ tractor rally, saying the Prime Minister had already said the law would take its course.

“We are sure that the government is inquiring into it. We saw a statement by the Prime Minister in the media that law will take its course. We don’t want to interfere at this stage,” Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde told a PIL petitioner.

When one of the petitioners said the probe may be “one-sided”, the Chief Justice said the purpose of an investigation was to examine all sides.

“How can you assume that the investigation would be one-sided? Both sides will be investigated,” Chief Justice Bobde said.

The petitioners pointed out how the farmers’ protests against the agriculture laws were peaceful till the Republic Day eve.

The court gave the petitioners liberty to withdraw their pleas and approach the Home Ministry with their grievances, if any.

Some of the petitions, including one by advocate Vishal Tiwari, had sought the setting up of an inquiry commission chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge to examine the events leading up to the violent clashes in many parts of Delhi and the iconic Red Fort.

The petitions had urged the court to direct the lodging of FIRs against individuals who “dishonoured” the National Flag on the ramparts of the Red Fort.

Another petition by advocate M.L. Sharma had urged the court to stop certain sections of the media from calling protesting farmers as ‘terrorists’. Mr. Sharma blamed the violence on a conspiracy hatched to discredit the farmers’ protest.

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