Lawyers shout ‘shame’ as HC refuses interim relief to Jamia students

Indira Jaising
Senior Lawyer Indira Jaising

New Delhi, Dec 19 : In an unprecedented incident, lawyers shouted “shame, shame” after the Delhi High Court refused any interim relief to the Jamia Milia Islamia University students, who had moved the court.

While the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar, was rising after rejecting the plea for interim relief and issuing notice to respondents, a bunch of lawyers, including senior advocate Indira Jaising, started shouting “shame, shame”.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions regarding the police brutality and violent clashes at the university.

During the hearing, senior advocate Salman Khurshid said the court should take steps, which would sends out a message. “We are seeking a method of healing the wounds and moving forward,” he said. The court should ask the Vice-Chancellor to safeguard the CCTV footage, he added.

“Why no FIR has been registered on the basis of statements of the victims — one person lost his eye and the other sustained a bullet injury,” he asked. Khurshid asked whether warning was given before the action, also were there female constables.

The court was informed that “450 tear gas shells” were fired at people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 15. Terming it the most significant attack on students since Independence, lawyers urged the Solicitor General to become amicus curiae.

Lawyers arguing on behalf of the petitioners, included Sanjay Hegde and Indira Jaising.

The petitioners said the police entered the campus and library without permission. The varsity’s chief proctor had also contradicted the police claim that he had permitted the police to enter the campus, they submitted.

They also cited medical reports, issued by AIIMS, confirming that one student had suffered bullet injuries. FIRs were being registered against students and they were being potrayed as criminals, they said. “It’s a serious case of violation of fundamental rights.”

Hegde questioned the police actions, like entering the mosque and the library on campus, and justification for use of canes, tear gas and bullets on protestors. “There are apprehensions on all sides,” Hegde said.

Jaising said there had been anti-CAA protests all over the country, founded on the fundamental of non-violence. All of us would like to see restoration of peace, but it required peace-making steps from authorities — not just words but real actions, she said.

The matter was adjourned and taken up post-lunch.

“It’s not a case of protest against the newly passed law, but against the police brutality on students.

“It was said the students were rioting. As they started the walk to Parliament from Jamia they were singing songs, when they were attacked. At 4 p.m. on December 15, students were attacked by the police in the library, in the mosque on the campus,” Colin Gonsalves said.

“The chief proctor has said the police entered the campus without permission. The Vice-Chancellor also said the police entered the campus, damaged properties, used lathis. Also, what about the emotional sufferings of students?.”

After no interim protection was given, and the judges left the dais, advocates started shouting “shame, shame”.

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