Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 19
Coming down heavily on Delhi Police for assault on a Sikh auto-rickshaw driver and his minor son in Mukherjee Nagar area of the capital, the Delhi High Court today termed it an “evidence of police brutality” and how a uniformed force ought not to act.
“How can you justify assault of a 15-year-old boy? If this is not evidence of police brutality then what more do you need?” a Bench headed by Justice Jayant Nath wondered while hearing a PIL seeking an independent probe into the matter.
After watching videos of the assault, the Bench — which also included Justice Najmi Waziri — issued notice to the Centre, the NCT Government and Delhi Police asking them to spell out their respective stand on the PIL.
Seeking an independent report from a Joint Commissioner of Police-rank officer within a week, the Bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 2. It also asked the media not to disclose the name of minor victim of the police assault.
“How can any uniformed force do this? This would scare the citizens that the uniformed force is acting in this manner. Would create disquiet in the society. You (police) have to show you are with the citizens. That is what the citizens, including children, want,” the Bench said.
On Sunday evening, video clips of a brawl between driver Sarabjeet Singh and policemen went viral on the social media. In one such clip, Sarabjeet was seen chasing policemen with a sword, while in another, policemen were seen thrashing him and his son with batons.
Police claimed eight of their personnel were injured in the incident while three policemen were suspended for “unprofessional behaviour”. A probe had been ordered into the incident that took place after the driver’s vehicle collided with a police van, it was reported.
Earlier, the issue was mentioned before the Bench in the pre-lunch session but the judges said the matter would be taken up at 2.15 pm.
Read: Auto driver was booked for assaulting gurdwara sevadar in April: Police
Citing news reports, the petitioner said the driver and his son were assaulted by police and requested the court to call for records, including medical reports, of the case.
Filed by advocate Seema Singhal, the petition alleged that “a service gun was pointed towards the minor by the policemen threatening him with dire consequences”. She also sought framing of appropriate guidelines to prevent such “violent acts of police brutality” and use of excessive force. The petitioner said: “Assuming without admitting that Sarabjeet Singh had taken out his kirpan to attack the policemen, they should have used reasonable force to make him drop the kirpan rather than hitting him and his minor son mercilessly.”
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