HC says order 'mischievous'; asks for 5 previous examples in sealed cover

new delhi: When advocate Amit Mahajan, representing the Delhi Police, told the Delhi High Court that the petition against Special CP Praveer Ranjan's order asking his officers to be cautious with arrests in light of "resentment among the Hindu community" was "highly mischievous", Justice Suresh Kumar Kait shot back, saying, "This letter (of special CP) is also mischievous. Tell me what was the need to issue this letter."

The court on Friday questioned the Special CP (Crime and EOW) over the issuance of a July 8 order, which had cited inputs of resentment among the Hindu community in north-east Delhi, following arrests of "Hindu youth" in the area in the riots related cases.

The court asked the senior IPS officer as to what warranted the issuance of such an order and whether it was a routine practice among police. "An input was received by the agency and whenever such input is received, we sensitise our officers so that they shall exercise due care and precaution during the investigation." Special CP Ranjan said, adding that besides the riots matter, they have passed several such orders in other cases in the past.

Hearing this, the court directed the senior police officer to submit five similar orders or letters in a sealed cover that he or his predecessor had issued based on inputs within two days and posted the matter next for August 7.

The court's questioning came on a plea by the families of two victims who were killed during the February violence here, alleging that the senior officer's order was sending a wrong message. Advocate Mehmood Pracha, representing the petitioners, claimed that the order amounted to unlawful and illegal interference in the performance of investigative functions by police officers.

The court, however, made it clear that whether notice is to be issued on the petition or not will be decided after pursuing the letters to be placed by the police.

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