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Home / India / Supreme Court to take up Tripura investigation plea on January 31

Supreme Court to take up Tripura investigation plea on January 31

The state has questioned the bona fide of the petitioner saying the person did not file any such PIL before the SC with regard to pre- and post-poll violence in Bengal
Supreme Court.
Supreme Court.
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Our Legal Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 25.01.22, 02:22 AM

The Supreme Court will take up on January 31 the petition for an independent investigation into the recent communal violence in Tripura and the state’s plea that Pakistan’s ISI-backed elements wanted to foment trouble in the state.

The state has also questioned the bona fide of the petitioner — advocate Ehetsam Hashmi — saying the person did not file any such PIL before the apex court with regard to pre- and post-poll violence in neighbouring Bengal.

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A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Dinesh Maheshwari gave a week’s time to the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the counter-affidavit filed by the Tripura government, which had sought the dismissal of the PIL with exemplary cost as the state maintained that the plea was motivated and Tripura High Court was already dealing with the incidents relating to violence in the state.

Hashmi had sought an independent probe into the alleged large-scale violence and targeting of Muslims in the wake of attacks on Hindu temples in Bangladesh and the failure of the Tripura government in taking action against the perpetrators.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Hashmi, told the court that linking the violence to the alleged hostilities in Bengal was “totally unbecoming of a state govt”.

However, Tripura in its counter-affidavit submitted that it has registered “under/ Section 153(A)/153(B) I 469 I 471/503/504/120(B) of IPC and Section 13 of Unlawful Activities Act, 1967, against 102 persons/ organisations and unknown others based on careful examination of social media posts, which were active up to 3.11.2021 and engaged in promoting enmity between two communities”.

“It has also come to light in the course of investigation in the said case that there is an organization in the list namely, IAMC i.e. Indian American Muslim Council, against whom there is information of connivance with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and has link with Pan-Islamist networks-Jamaat & terror-linked groups. Preliminary enquiry from internet corroborates the information from another Twitter Account Disinfo Lab. The matter is under further investigation. Also, there arc at least 14 links which have originated from outside India revealing the conspiracy hatched at outside India also to defame and promote hatred between religious groups and create disturbances,” the state said.

Terming the allegations of laxity against the state as being false and baseless, Tripura submitted that there were some incidents of mischief and damage involving two religious groups in some parts of the state between October 19 and 26 last year. Specific cases were registered in connection with those incidents and investigations were taken up, the state government said.

“It is not a fact that no arrest has been made. A total of 27 persons have been arrested so far and 157 persons/organizations have been served with notices U/Sec. 41A CrPC or Sec. 91 CrPC,” the state said, pleading that is duty-bound under the Constitutional scheme, to protect the life and property of each of its citizens, and the state has been making all sincere efforts, within its means, towards this end.

“However, the petitioner’s tirade against the Respondent-State, that has come in the form of a sponsored ‘fact-finding report’ also seriously undermines the administration of criminal law in the Respondent-State,” the affidavit filed by resident commissioner Sonal Goel through advocate Shuvodeep Roy stated.

“It is very surprising to note that just few months back, series of pre-poll and post-poll violence took place in the State of West Bengal which were definitely wider in geography and very severe in magnitude.

“The so-called ‘public spirit’ of the petitioners did not move few months back in a larger scale of communal violence and suddenly their ‘public spirit’ aroused due to some instances in a small State like Tripura.

“A genuine and bona fide public-spirited citizen would not be selective in his public interest and would not be choosy about rushing before this Hon’ble Court with regard to one State and keeping quiet with regard to the other.

“That it is respectfully pointed out that such a selective outrage of the petitioner is not presented before this Hon’ble Court as a defence but to satisfy this Hon’ble Court that under the garb of ‘public interest’, the August Forum of this Hon’ble Court is used for apparently oblique purpose. It .is, not a question of one petition or the other but the majesty and sanctity of the proceedings before the Highest Court of the Country,” the state government said.

According to the Tripura government, some organisations such as NCHRO, CFD and PUCL, Delhi have embarked upon a purported fact­finding tour of the state followed by a much publicised “report” at a time the state machinery was involved in making the situation normal at ground level.



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