Why not CBI probe in Jat quota stir related case- HC asks Haryana

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Punjab and Haryana High Court has indicted that it was open to order a CBI probe into FIRs registered during Jat quota stir, which rocked the Haryana state in February. The stir had left the state paralysed for 10 days, claimed 30 lives and had caused of several thousand crores loss to private and public property. More than 2115 FIRs were registered against agitators.

During the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the High Court put the Central Bureau of Investigation on notice and also asked the Haryana government to make clear its stand if the central investigating agency was asked to take over the probe.

Legal

The Division Bench of Justice S.S. Saron and Justice Lisa Gil set two-day deadline for the response of the state on the issue. The development took place after Haryana Finance Minister’s brother Satyapal Sindhu placed the government in dock for allegedly safeguarding the agitators.

Appearing for Sindhu, senior advocate R.S. Rai asserted the applicant’s property and business had ruined in the agitation. But the police had failed to arrest arsonists and agitators identified by him. One of the accused was an ex-sarpanch.

“No action has been taken till date against them for the simple reason that the government has decided, or has tied the hands of the police, as Jat community constitutes a major vote bank,” Rai said.

He added a Chief Judicial Magistrate too had stated that the investigation was improper in the case. The government, off the record, had assured Jat leaders that action would not be taken against persons involved in the agitation. In fact, the accused were claiming openly that police would not act against them.

The amicus curiae, Anupam Gupta asserted that the government’s indictment by the Finance Minister’s own brother was a matter of infamy for it. Asking the Court to look at the broader picture of inaction presented by the applicant, Gupta said the application was reflective of the Finance Minister’s own anguish. “If one was to read in between the lines, the minister was imploring and speaking his heart out through the application, which he could not have filed on his own”, said Gupta adding that all the cases, including the Murthal matter, should go to the CBI.

The Bench then asked the State to explain why all the case should not go to the CBI, when already three cases relating to attack on the Finance Minister’s house had been handed over to it.

Rapping the State, Justice Saron asserted: “Why don’t you pass amnesty orders? Why not legalise it. This is nothing but just hogwash. The Advocate-General’s office does not understand the gravity of the matter. You are blank. You have only been filing computerised data, while we wanted action taken details of individual cases”.

Justice Saron added issuing notice to the CBI for probe into the Murthal case would not be appropriate at the present stage as it would discourage the SIT. The Bench also fixed Saturday as the next date of hearing. The CBI on that day will make clear its stand on probing the cases.

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