CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat has approached the Delhi High Court seeking an early hearing in her plea for directions to police to make public the list of people arrested in connection with communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.
The application for preponing the date of hearing of the petition is likely to be listed on May 12.
The main petition, which has sought that a list of those arrested be put up outside police control room and police stations in the district, should be updated on a case-by-case basis. It is listed for hearing on June 16.
The application for early hearing said the country is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared nationwide lockdown due to which people are not allowed to go out except for essential services.
However, Delhi Police has continued its probe in connection with certain FIRs related to the Delhi violence and as per media reports, the MHA has directed police to ensure that the probe does not slow down and insisted that arrests should continue, resulting in around 50 arrests in the first two weeks of the lockdown itself, it said.
“Therefore, in this situation when there is limited access to courts, unavailability of lawyers, it is more important on the part of Delhi Police to follow the law of the land, to comply with the provisions of CrPC with due regard for health, safety and fundamental rights of the concerned people,” the plea, filed through advocate Tara Narula, said.
It said during the investigation, people are unable to avail their rights and the family members are given proper information about those arrested or detained by police.
The application sought directions that copies of FIR, remand application, orders of remand, grounds of arrest and charge sheets be supplied through e-mail/WhatsApp/ post to the families and counsel of accused people.
It also sought that a status report be called from police disclosing the names and numbers of people detained and arrested by the probe agency in relation to the violence in the duration of the lockdown, that is, since March 24.
The high court had earlier sought responses from the Delhi government and the police on Karat’s petition.
The petition has also urged the court to direct that “all complaints alleging acts, offences and atrocities by members of the police, Rapid Action Force or state functionaries in relation to the widespread attacks in northeast Delhi be investigated by an independent investigating agency/team”.
In February, clashes broke out in northeast Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.