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Tuesday 21, January 2020
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Delhi Police behaving as if Jama Masjid were Pakistan, says judge in CAA protest case

"Things which should have been said in Parliament were not said"

New Delhi, January 14

A court slammed Delhi Police on Tuesday for failing to show any evidence against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, observing that people were out on the streets because things which should have been said in Parliament were not said.

Delhi Police were behaving as if Jama Masjid were Pakistan, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said, adding that even if it were, one could protest there peacefully. Pakistan was part of undivided India, she said.

The court’s observations came while hearing the bail plea of Azad, who was arrested in a case related to anti-CAA protests in old Delhi’s Daryaganj.

“In Parliament, things which should have been said were not said and that is why people are out on the streets. We have full right to express our views but we cannot destroy our country.

“You are behaving as if Jama Masjid were Pakistan, and even if it were, you could go there and protest. Pakistan was part of undivided India,” the judge said.

The court asked the investigating officer of the police to put on record all the evidence which showed that Azad was allegedly giving incriminatory speeches at the gathering at Jama Masjid and any law which showed that the gathering there was unconstitutional.

It will hear the matter on Wednesday.

During the hearing, police told the court that they had only drone images of the gathering as evidence and no other recording.

To this, the judge said, “Do you think Delhi Police are so backward that they have no tools to record anything?

“Show me anything or any law that prohibits such gathering...Where is the violence? Who says you cannot protest...have you read the Constitution? It is one’s constitutional right to protest.”

The court observed that Azad, who had a law degree, could also protest in the courts. It noted that Azad’s Ambedkarite philosophy probably required more research. “Azad is probably an Ambedkarite. Ambedkar was closer to Muslims and Sikhs, basically the repressed class of society...He was a rebel of his own kind. Probably Azad has a vague idea of what he wants to say but is not able to put it across. If you take up an issue, you do your research. And that is missing,” the court said.

The plea, filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha, claimed that there was no evidence against the allegations made against Azad in the FIR and his arrest was illegal.

Azad’s outfit had called for a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the amended Citizenship Act on December 20, without police permission.

The 15 others arrested in the case were granted bail by the court on January 9. PTI

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