Slamming the Delhi Police for allowing unlawful assembly of supporters of Arvind Kejriwal during the AAP protest in the national capital on January 21-22, the Supreme Court on Friday questioned the constitutionality of the post the Chief Minister is holding.
The court disapproved of the Delhi Police inaction in permitting people to gather outside the Rail Bhavan despite prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure barring assembly of five and more persons being in force.
“How did they (people) assemble when prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC were clamped. Why did you let it happen in the first place when the mob is already there,” a Bench comprising Justice R M Lodha and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh asked Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.
“We want information on two queries as to why, despite the prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC, the law enforcing agencies/police permit five and more persons unlawfully. Second, whether law enforcing agencies/police acted appropriately to disperse the crowd,” the Bench said.
Observing that “the task in hand is to see that the constitutional provisions are respected,” the Bench sought explanation by January 31 from the Police Commissioner why people were allowed to gather unlawfully.
The AAP held the dharna demanding action against policemen, who were refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring, on Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s directive last week.
The Bench, which was hearing the PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma, issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Government and sought their response within sex weeks on the issue whether constitutional post holder can resort to agitation in violation of law. “Constitution is supreme and every institution is a product of Constitution and every individual who holds the office is governed by the Constitution,” the Bench observed while adding that “We are only concerned with Constitutional issues”.
It agreed to examine “whether chief minister/minister is allowed to play a double role, i.e. holding constitutional office and street agitator against the constitutional systems at a same time, under the constitution of India?”
Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra submitted that police had swung into action on January 19 evening by issuing prohibitory orders, but people violated it, but the Bench refused to accept it.
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