Wednesday 26 October 2016

Delhi HC Refuses to Disqualify Sena MPs Over Force-Feeding

New Delhi
File-TV Grab/PTI Photo

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking directions to the Lok Sabha Speaker and Chairman of Rajya Sabha to disqualify 11 Shiv Sena MPs for allegedly force-feeding a fasting Muslim employee at the new Maharashtra Sadan here, saying steps have already been taken by the concerned authorities and departments.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath rejected the petition also on the ground that petitioner Maulana Ansar Raza has "miserably failed to furnish any particulars to establish his credentials to maintain the writ petition by way of public interest litigation".

"Moreover, in view of the steps that have already been taken by the concerned authorities/departments, we are of the opinion that the matter does not deserve intervention by this Court. For the aforesaid reasons, we decline to entertain the writ petition and the same is accordingly dismissed," it said.

The bench also observed that when action is being taken on the complaints received by Additional Commissioner of Police about the alleged incident and since the Home Minister has termed it as regrettable and unfortunate, "initiation of proceedings by a third party under the garb of PIL is not at all warranted".

"Two complaints have already been received by the Additional Commissioner of Police about the alleged incident and appropriate action is being taken in accordance with law. Moreover, a statement has been made by the Home Minister terming the incident as regrettable and unfortunate and that the Government should make constant efforts for maintaining religious harmony in the country.

"Under these circumstances, we are of the opinion that initiation of proceedings by a third party under the garb of public interest litigation is not at all warranted," the court said. 

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain had told the court that the PIL "does not stand anywhere" as the victim had not approached the police and sought that it be dismissed.

The PIL had alleged that on July 17, Rajan Vichare, a Shiv Sena MP got irked over the poor quality of food and force-fed Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) employee Arshad Zubair, who was Maharashtra Sadan catering supervisor.

Zubair was fasting during the holy month of Ramzan.

"The action of the Shiv Sena MPs with the fasting Muslim supervisor was uncalled for and needed to be dealt with a strict action by party chief Udhav Thackeray," the PIL had submitted.

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