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Breaking: Read SC order slamming UP gov for Muzaffarnagar riots negligence

UP government should have seen riot coming: SC
UP government should have seen riot coming: SC

The Supreme Court has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to prevent the Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013.

Read the full 92-page judgment by Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam below, which has just been uploaded.

Sathasivam, alongside a bench of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi, made detailed directions about victim compensation in cases of rape and murder, and wrote that no CBI or SIT inquiry was required at this time:

In the light of various steps taken by the State, facts and figures, statistics supported by materials coupled with the various principles enunciated in the decisions referred above, we are of the view that there is no need to either constitute SIT or entrust the investigation to the CBI at this juncture. However, we are conscious of the fact that more effective and stringent measures are to be taken by the State administration for which we are issuing several directions hereunder.

However, the court held that the government was prima facie negligent in “not anticipating the communal violence and taking necessary steps to prevent it”:

79) The incidents of communal disturbance flared up sometimes on flimsy grounds blaming one community to other. Whatever may be, after the Mahapanchayat that took place on 07.09.2013, certain incidents such as eve teasing of other community girls followed by murders had taken place. Further, inasmuch as thousands of people gathered at a particular place in order to take revenge or retaliate, it is expected by the State intelligence agencies to apprise the State Government and the District Administration in particular, to prevent such communal violence. Though the Central Government even on day one informed this Court through the Attorney General for India that all necessary help, both financially and for maintaining law and order, had been provided to the State, there is no authoritative information to this Court whether there was any advance intimation to the State about the communal violence. Likewise, though the State has enumerated several aspects in the form of eleven compliance reports, there is no information to this Court whether the District Administration was sounded about the proposed action between the two communities. Had the Central and State intelligence agencies smelt these problems in advance and alerted the District Administration, the unfortunate incidents could have been prevented. Thus, we prima facie hold the State government responsible for being negligent at the initial stage in not anticipating the communal violence and for taking necessary steps for its prevention.

He added:

Finally, we reiterate that it is the responsibility of the State Administration in association with the intelligence agencies of both State and Centre to prevent such recurrence of communal violence in any part of the State. It is made clear that the officers responsible for maintaining law and order, if found negligent, should be brought under the ambit of law irrespective of their status.

Photo by Geraint Rowland

Read Muzaffarnagar Riots Judgment

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