New Delhi, September 22
Several former judges have hit out at the civil society members who criticised the police investigation into the Delhi riots, saying “national integration cannot be sacrificed at the altar of wishfully disintegrative romanticism of the misguided elements”.
The group of 13 former judges, including former chief justices of three high courts, specifically referred to the criticism of Umar Khalid’s arrest by a section of activists, asserting that the former JNU student leader was not an exception to the rule of law that must take its own course.
The former judges said they were keenly noticing a “partisan agenda-based disruptive narrative” being consistently produced by a handful of persons who have held responsible constitutional positions.
Retired judges BC Patel, KR Vyas, Permod Kohli and SM Soni are among those who have signed the statement, strongly condemning the efforts of anyone who tries to “glorify” crime against the State, block the due process of law in dealing with crimes affecting peace and tranquillity of the country’s citizens.
This create a wedge in the social fabric of the nation and indirectly strike at the roots of national integration, they claimed.
“A new premise is espoused wherein some allegedly disruptive elements are being put on a pedestal,” their statement said.
This same set of people, “wrongly” claiming themselves as sole representatives of the civil society, are attempting to “scuttle” the normal process of administration of justice in the Umar Khalid case, the former judges said.
Khalid has been arrested by the Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in the riots and has been slapped with stringent anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
These people never miss any chance to denigrate the sacred institutions of Indian democracy, such as the Supreme Court, Election Commission and Parliament, according to the statement.
They are now throwing spanners in the process of law regarding the Delhi riots, where layers after layers of “anti-national activities” are getting exposed, it said, attacking civil society groups, including former civil servants and even retired judges who have questioned the Delhi Police probe.
“They seem to suffer from a wishful thinking that all the constitutional institutions as well as the executive authorities created by the law must function in accordance with their whims and fancy, which clearly portray their inherent lack of respect for India, and what it stands for,” the statement said.
In the Umar Khalid case, critics need to understand that, ultimately, it is the judiciary before which allegations will have to be proved, it added. PTI
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