Supreme Court declines order on Gujjars’ plea against police


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday declined to pass any order on a petition filed on behalf of the Gujjars seeking an end to harassment from the Rajasthan police. The plea comes in the wake of police cases filed against Gujjar leaders following the community's agitation demanding tribal status.

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A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P.P. Naolekar while refusing to pass any order asked counsel Surat Singh to approach amicus curiae Rajeev Dhavan and present the matter before him.

While taking suo motu cognisance of large-scale violence, the apex court on June 5 had asked the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to file affidavits on the action taken against the perpetrators of the violence. The case is listed for hearing on June 18.

The apex court had termed the week-long violence in Rajasthan and parts of some neighbouring states as "national shame". The Gujjars were demanding Scheduled Tribe status with a view to improving the community's socio-economic condition.

The agitation came to an end June 4 as the Rajasthan government set up a committee to look into the demand.

Counsel brought to the notice of the court the filing of the petition and said the court should give a direction to the Rajasthan police to stop the harassment of innocent people.

He alleged that police were entering the houses of the members of the Gujjar community and harassing them. The bench, however, said that it would take up the matter on June 18.

The petitioner, Akhil Bharatiya Gujjar Vikas Sangathan, submitted that it was possible that some of the agitators might have become overzealous in expressing their rights and some misguided elements might have gone beyond the limit of reasonable expression of their fundamental rights but the entire Gujjar community could not be penalised for the same.

It said that a CBI enquiry should be ordered into the whole incident to ascertain the true facts. Till that was done the police officers should be directed to stop harassment of innocent people of Gujjar community in various States. It said the present petition had been filed to ensure respect for fundamental rights of the members of the Gujjar community consistent with the demands of maintaining law and order in an evenhanded and impartial manner.