The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to advice the police commissioner on lodging of FIRs against alleged hate speeches by three BJP leaders in connection with the CAA violence. A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh was hearing a plea seeking lodging of FIRs and arrests of those involved in the ongoing communal violence in parts of northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The hearing will continue at 2.30 pm.
The high court said the situation outside was very unpleasant. During the hearing, the court asked Mehta and Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime branch) Rajesh Deo if they had seen the video clip of BJP leader Kapil Mishra making alleged hate speeches.
While the solicitor general maintained that he does not watch television and has not seen those clips, Deo said he has watched the video of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma but has not seen that of Mishra.
On the submission made by the police officer, Justice Muralidhar remarked, "I am really amazed at the state of affairs of the Delhi Police and asked the court staff to play Mishra's video clip in the courtroom."
When the gathering in the jam-packed courtroom started hooting, the bench asked them to maintain decorum or else it will hold in-camera proceedings.
At the outset, the hearing witnessed heated arguments between Solicitor General Mehta and Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra, who raised objection over the appearance of the law officer on behalf of the police commissioner.
Mehra said the issue has been settled by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on the powers of the Centre and the Delhi government and everyone should respect the Rule of Law of the country.
Mehta contended that the Union of India is also a stakeholder in the matter and he has been instructed by the LG to appear.
"Don't create an ugly scene. I am not addressing a rally. I am addressing the lordships here," he said, who was then allowed to advance arguments in the matter.
The SG urged the court to implead the Centre as a party in the petition as the issue involves law and order and requested that the matter be heard on Thursday.
He also said the statements by BJP leaders Verma and Thakur were made several days back and it was not urgent to be heard today.
The court observed, "Does that not make it even more urgent. When the commissioner was made aware of such statements, does he need someone to approach him to take action. As a law officer you answer whether this prayer (for lodging FIRs against three BJP leaders) is not urgent."
Mehta replied, "I am not saying it is not urgent, but it can wait till tomorrow."