A clutch of petitions were filed in the top court by the victims of the Delhi violence. (File)
All the petitions related to last week's violence in Delhi — including that of hate speech — will be heard by the Delhi High Court on Friday, the Supreme Court said today, turning down the Centre's plea for more time.
"We are of the view that in the interest of justice, the cases be listed before the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on Friday. All other connected matters on the same subject which were adjourned, may be advances and taken up on Friday. We request the High Court to deal with these cases expeditiously," Chief Justice SA Bobde said today while hearing the plea from the victims of violence.
A clutch of petitions were filed in the top court by the victims, asking for action against the BJP leaders responsible for hate speech, which allegedly played a key role in the spread of violence in northeast Delhi last week. The four-day mayhem had left 48 people dead and more than 200 people injured.
The group approached the top court after the Delhi High Court last week gave the police four weeks to provide an update on action taken against the leaders accused of inciting violence over the controversial citizenship law.
"We think that adjournment of such long period (by the High Court) is unjustified. We also do not want to assume jurisdiction of HC when it is seized of the matter, Justice Bobde observed.
Appealing for time till Monday, the Centre argued that the Chief Justice of India "was not aware of the situation" and that "hooliganism is created in the High Court" – a reference to the "shame" slogans by lawyers during the hearing in the case involving the police crackdown on Jamia students on December 15.
Appearing for the government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also objected to the victims' contention about hate speeches. "It could be too naive to accept because of two or three speeches riots take place," he said.
The court, however, brushed away the argument. "We want to see peace as soon as possible. We are not ordering mediation," the Chief Justice said. "The Delhi High Court can explore the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the dispute".
Last week, the High Court had adjourned the case for a month after the sudden transfer of Justice S Muralidhar, who had urged tough and prompt action against the hate speeches.
The bench headed by S Muralidhar had told the police that there should be no delay in registering FIRs over the hate speeches and asked them to consider the consequences. Playing the hate speech videos in court, Justice Muralidharan said the court "would not allow another 1984 scenario".