NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition seeking action against Police Chief B S Bassi for allegedly "influencing" the probe in the JNU sedition case, saying the plea was for "publicity interest" and courts cannot be burdened with such applications.
"Why did you file this petition? We are surprised that this is not for public interest but for publicity interest," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said as soon as the hearing commenced.
The bench also asked the petitioner on what basis he was leveling such allegations.
The counsel appearing for petitioner Satish Pandey referred to newspaper reports and said that the plea was based on the statement given by Bassi which was widely published in the media.
To this, the bench said, "We will not go by the newspaper reports. The law is well settled. If you have any other material except these newspaper reports, you can tell us."
During the brief hearing, the counsel said the petition was not for publicity and again referred to newspaper reports.
To this, the bench said, "We cannot burden this court with these kinds of petition. Except newspaper reports we have not found any other material. The writ petition is dismissed".
The bench also said that the Supreme Court is seized of the matter and the inquiry is pending.
The petition had alleged that Bassi's statement that the police would not oppose JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar's bail plea, may influence fair and transparent investigation in the matter as well as court proceedings.
It had claimed that police was "playing at the hands of some political parties under whom Delhi Police is working" and said Bassi should be directed to clear his views on the statements given by him on February 16 and 17.
In his petition, Pandey had claimed that the investigating officer cannot probe the matter fairly in such a case when "undue influential pressure" is imposed by a high-ranking official like the police commissioner.
He had sought a direction to prohibit Bassi from influencing the probe.
"Charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy against the accused are not an individual offence but a public offence and every citizen of the nation is affected," he had claimed.
Besides Bassi, the petitioner had made Kanhaiya, the Centre and the Delhi government respondents.