SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 155 OF 2013
Mohd. Haroon & Ors.
Union of India & Anr.
Dated – MARCH 26, 2014.
J U D G M E N T
1) These writ petitions and other connected matters relate to the riots that broke out on the fateful day of 07.09.2013. The riots erupted in and around District Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh as a result of communal tension prevailing in the city, which wrecked lives of a large number of people who fled from their homes out of anxiety and fear.
2) It is asserted in these petitions that the communal riot erupted in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and its adjoining rural areas after a Mahapanchayat which was organized by the Jat community at Nagla Mandaur, 20 kms away from Muzaffarnagar city on 07.09.2013. In the said Mahapanchayat, over 1.5 lakh persons from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi participated to oppose the incident which was occurred on 27.08.2013 in Kawal village under Jansath Tehsil of Muzaffarnagar because of which violence broke out between two communities and three youths were killed from both sides in the wake of a trivial incident which had occurred earlier and the whole incident was given a communal colour to incite passion.
3) It is the claim of the petitioners herein that the local administration instead of enforcing the law allowed the congregation not only to take place, negligently and perhaps with certain amount of complicity, but also failed to monitor its proceedings. It is asserted in the petitions that since 2 7.08.2013 more than 200 Muslims have been brutally killed and around 500 are still missing in the spurt of the incident in 50 villages of the Jat community dominated areas where the Muslim community is in minority. It is the stand of the petitioners that in the remote villages more than 40,000 persons have migrated under threat and have been forcibly asked to move out of the village otherwise they would be killed. It is further alleged that many thousand persons including infants, children, women and elderly are without food and shelter in various villages, and no facilities are being made available by the administration. Besides this, huge illegal and unauthorized arms and ammunitions have been recovered in and around Muzaffarnagar. It is also pointed out that the displaced persons of all communities are compelled to live in shelter camps where adequate arrangements are becoming the problem of survival.
4) Consequently, several writ petitions, under Article 32 of the Constitution, were filed by various individuals/Supreme Court Bar Association/NGOs seeking for an inclusive protection for each victim whose fundamental rights have been infringed in the said riot by praying for numerous rehabilitative, protective and preventive measures to be adhered to by both the State and the Central Government.
5) There are various contra-allegations about the actual occurrence and reasons attributed to the cause by different community people. It is relevant to point out that an association representing Jat community has also approached this Court highlighting their stand. It is stated that on the pressure of the other group, innocent persons are being picked up and are being incorporated in the FIR without conducting any inquiry and they are being arrested for none of their faults. Thus, it is the stand of the petitioners in this petition that the State has failed in its duty to ensure the security in the area.
6) It is also pointed out that the State Government transferred the Jat community officers alone from the districts of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli to other parts of the State. It is their claim that in order to remove the apprehension from the minds of the Jat community people, it is desirable either to entrust the investigation to the CBI or to constitute SIT comprising persons from outside the State of Uttar Pradesh. They also predominantly prayed for registration of FIRs against all culprits including powerful persons.
7) Similar petitions were also filed in the High Court of Allahabad. In view of the similarity of the issues involved in these petitions, viz., reasons for such violence, rehabilitation measures, compensation for the loss of lives and properties, action against offenders/culprits, all the matters pertaining to the said incidents filed in the High Court of Allahabad were directed to be transferred to this Court by order dated 19.09.2013.