BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed Advocate General (AG) Prabhuling K Navadgi to file an affidavit outlining the action taken on complaints filed by people injured as well as the family members of the deceased during the police firing in Mangaluru in which two people were killed.
Hearing a PIL filed by former Mangaluru mayor K Ashraf and H S Doreswamy, freedom fighter, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar also directed the Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate of Dakshina Kannada district to publish a notice asking the public, private and media to produce CCTV and video footage of the anti-CAA protest on December 19, 2019.
“The state should ascertain whether the footage of the video recorded by the police and city administration is available,” the bench said, directing the District Magistrate to place the footage on record before the court, if it is available, on February 25, the next date of hearing. This was after senior counsel Ravivarma Kumar representing the petitioners submitted that the police had not registered a single case on the complaints filed by the injured and family members of the deceased. When the bench sought an answer, the AG said that endorsements had been given to all complainants.
Kumar also drew the attention of the court to the alleged objectionable provocative remarks made by police officers against protesters. The AG said the CCTV footage was kept intact according to the interim directions of the court. He also submitted a copy of the preliminary inquiry in a sealed cover to the court. The AG also argued that two petitioners, who have filed a separate PIL over the anti-CAA Mangaluru protest, had suppressed facts about criminal cases pending against them.
He submitted that seven criminal cases were pending against IK Mohammed Iqbal Elimale and five criminal cases pending against B Ummer. Both petitioners are residents of Devachalla village and Gandhi Nagar respectively, in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada district.They had also said in their petition that they were social activists working for the protection of fundamental rights of people. However, the court found no such activities undertaken by them in the documents they submitted.The bench declined to entertain the PIL, noting that the petitioners had filed false and incorrect statements and therefore, they cannot be treated as pro bono litigants.