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Delhi Court Rejects Jamia Plea Seeking FIR Against Police for Dec 2019 Campus Violence

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The application by the premier central university had recalled that excessive force was used by the authorities in dealing with the protests

NEW DELHI — A court here has dismissed an application by the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) that sought filing of a First Information Report (FIR) against the police for committing various atrocities when they stormed the university campus during student protests against the the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019. 

According to the Bar and Bench, Rajat Goyal, Metropolitan Magistrate of Saket Court, concluded that no order for registration of FIR could be issued due to  absence of sanction for prosecution under Section 197 CrPC.

The application by the premier central university had recalled that on December 15, 2019, the protests against CAA near the university area took place following a call by civil society members.

However, excessive force was used by the authorities in dealing with the protests; police officers broke into the university campus without seeking any sanction and thrashed several security guards as well as students.

In its application, JMI alleged that the police officers caused destruction of university property, fired tear gas shells and conducted lathi-charge.

Moreover, the police hurt religious sentiments of locals of the area by entering the university mosque, the application said.

The university told the court that despite a complaint filed at the Jamia Nagar Police Station about the police violence at the campus, no action was taken.

The Delhi Police defended the use of force saying that the police were constrained to enter the university campus to maintain law and order.

“The police claimed that local leaders and politicians had instigated the students and deployment of anti-riot staff was done as per the standard protocol to deal with the crowd that was armed and had set several vehicles on fire,” the Bar and Bench report said.

The police had registered two FIRs against “miscreants” for indulging in violence.

The court observed that the cops who were on duty that day were “serving police officials” who qualified as “public servants” under Section 21 IPC.

The court underlined that not every offence committed by a public servant required sanction for prosecution under Section 197 CrPC, but the present case was not one of those.

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