SC to View Video of Ramlila Ground Crackdown

New Delhi
SC to View Video of Ramlila Ground Crackdown
The Supreme Court today decided to view the video footage of Delhi Police crackdown on yoga guru Ramdev and his followers, saying it should be ensured that such incidents do not recur even as it declined to make Union Home Minister P Chidambaram a party to the case at this stage.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar decided to watch the two-hour video recording of the entire incident on August 5 at 4.15 pm.

Turning down Ramdev's plea to implead Chidambaram, who had defended the Delhi Police action, the bench said it is not expanding the ambit of the case and the focus is to examine the circumstances which led to the June 4 incident.

The bench said it is not making the Home Minister a party to have his say in the case at this stage but will keep the issue open.

Expressing concern over the incident, the bench said, "Innocent persons should not be beaten up by whosoever.

"We must ensure that such incidents do not occur again," the bench said.

Yoga guru Ramdev had tried to impress upon the bench to implead Chidambaram but could not succeed.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appearing for Ramdev sought a direction that the Home Minister should explain the incident and notice should be issued to him personally.

The bench, however, clarified that it is not dealing with any other aspect except the June 4 occurrence and fixed August 8 and 16 for further hearing in the case.

The court had on June 6 taken suo motu cognisance of the police action on a gathering of Ramdev and his followers at Ramlila Maidan where they were staging a protest on the issue of corruption and blackmoney and had asked the Centre and Delhi Police to explain why it resorted to such a drastic step in the middle of the night.

The court also asked all the parties including the Centre to file their affidavit if they wish within three days.

During the last hearing, the bench had questioned the city police for allegedly not registering an FIR on the complaint of the yoga guru's followers against the alleged "atrocities" committed by the authorities.

It had also questioned the police for lobbing tear gas shells and using water cannons in the enclosed premises to drive out the people.

"Is it not expected that the tear gas and water cannons should be used in enclosed part.... Was it not that people at 11:30 pm were sleeping? You resort to lathicharge. The photographs show the commissioner of police is talking to someone," the bench had said.
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