AMN / NEW DELHI
The Supreme Court on Friday came down hard on “grave incidents of vandalism” of private and public properties by various groups across the country, particularly in light of the fortnight-long Kanwar Yatra which led to a spate of violence in parts of western Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region, and said it would not wait for the government to amend the law.
A three-judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, warned that it would issue strict guidelines on the issue.
The observation came when Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that riots and protests are happening almost every week in one or other part of the country.
Mr.Venugopal referred to recent violent incidents involving kanwariyas and also protests on the Maratha reservation in Maharashtra and nationwide violence following the apex court verdict in the SC/ST matter.
He said that the government has been contemplating an amendment in the existing law to deal with such kind of protests and asked the courts to allow the legislature to change the law suitably.
The apex Court said, it will not wait for the amendment as the situation is grave and rioting and vandalism must stop.
The bench reserved the order on a plea filed by the Kodungallur Film Society seeking enforcement of the apex court’s directions passed in 2009 to ensure peaceful protests in the country.
The apex court, in 2007, had taken a serious note of various incidents of large scale destruction of public and private properties in the name of agitations, bandhs and hartals and had initiated suo motu proceedings. The Court had come out with guidelines on the issue in 2009.
CJI Misra agreed at the disturbing state of affairs. “You cannot touch third party property. You (mob) can burn your own home if you want!” he said. The court reserved judgment in the case and said it would pass an order soon.