The Supreme Court Thursday expressed concern over large gathering of farmers protesting against the new farm laws at Delhi borders. It also asked the Centre whether they were protected against the spread of COVID-19.
While hearing a plea seeking various reliefs including CBI probe into the matter related to assembly of people at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal and the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizammudin Markaz in the national capital, the top court expressed its concern over the large gathering.
The same problem is going to arise in farmers’ agitation. I do not know if farmers are protected from COVID. So, the same problem is going to arise. It is not that everything is over, said Chief Justice SA Bobde, heading a bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The top court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, whether protesting farmers were protected from COVID-19. Mehta replied, certainly not.
Mehta said that he would file a report within two weeks, on what has been done, and what needs to be done.
Police fail to control congregation
In her plea, lawyer Supriya Pandita, alleged that Delhi police had failed to control the congregation of people. And she said the Nizamuddin Markaz chief Maulana Saad was still evading arrest.
Advocate Om Prakash Parihar, appearing for the petitioner, said the Centre has made no statement about Maulana Saad’s whereabouts.
The bench asked Parihar, “Why are you interested in one person?” “We are on the issue of COVID. Why do you want controversy?” We are interested that, COVID guidelines should be there, the bench said.
The top court issued formal notice, after which Mehta said that he will file a report in the matter. The Centre had on June 5 last told the top court that the Delhi police have conducted a probe into assembly of people at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal in east Delhi during nationwide lockdown and the Tablighi Jamaat event on day-to-day basis. And there was no need for CBI investigation.