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Supreme Court pulls up police over Delhi clashes, defers hearing on Shaheen Bagh

The Supreme Court bench hearing the Shaheen Bagh case called the violence in Delhi unfortunate and expressed distress over the violence.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2020, 02.22 PM IST
Shaheen Bagh blockade: SC pulls up Delhi police, pushes hearing date to March 23
Shaheen Bagh blockade: SC pulls up Delhi police, pushes hearing date to March 23
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi Police over their handling of the ongoing clashes in the capital while deferring to March 23 hearing on a plea to shift the Shaheen Bagh protesters.

Justice KM Joseph while hearing the petition lamented the "lack of professionalism" in the police force saying it was a malaise across the country that police waited for orders before acting .

Twenty people have been killed so far and scores injured in clashes that rocked the capital over the last three days between groups opposing and supporting the newly amended citizenship act.

The apex court however refused to hear any petitions on the ongoing violence saying the Delhi High Court was already hearing them.

While hearing the Shaheen Bagh case, Justice Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who headed the bench, dubbed the clashes in Delhi unfortunate and expressed distress over the violence.

"Police don't have to wait for orders if someone makes inflammatory statements, but act in accordance with law," the court said.

Both judges called for implementation of the Prakash Singh ruling in which the apex court had called for insulating the police from political pulls and pressures.

The bench deferred hearing on the Shaheen Bagh case to March 23 to ensure that equanimity was restored and things cooled down.

The top court had last week appointed interlocutors -- senior advocates Sanjay Hedge, Sadhana Ramachandran and former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah -- to talk to the protesters on clearing the road and protesting at an alternate site.

Thousands of people, mostly Muslim women, have been staging a sit-in protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area since mid-December against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

A plea filed by Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni sought direction to the Centre for laying down guidelines on protests that obstruct public space.

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