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Jallikattu: Why is the judiciary silent on police excess at Chennai?

By Vicky

Chennai, Jan 24: The judiciary off late has been accused of being overzealous when it decides to hear some matters which ideally should be under the purview of the legislature. In the Jallikattu matter, there have been allegations of interference made against the judiciary by the general public. It was the Supreme Court which first banned Jallikattu and later went on to stay a notification permitting the sport.


Many are today asking the question if the judiciary would show the same zeal and take up a case suo motu against the Chennai police who have been accused of committing arson. Several videos were shared on the social media showing the Chennai police committing arson at Mylapore which is close to Marina Beach in Chennai, the epicentre of the Jallikattu protest. These videos were tweeted and shared by several persons including actor Kamal Hassan.

Will the judiciary act?

The protest at Marina was symbolic and more importantly peaceful. However, on Monday, things went haywire. It would not be wrong to say that there was a complete breakdown of the machinery. It is never a pretty sight to see policemen hurling stones at the public.

The state police is under the government and more often than not the probes against such excesses are never fair. In such a scenario it would be apt if the judiciary takes up the matter. The judiciary is well within its right to take up a suo motu case and order a probe against the Chennai police.

Experts say that if the judiciary can shown such keen interest in matters which ideally should have been under the purview of the legislature, it can also take up matters in public interest. The judiciary does not have to wait for a report from the Home ministry or for someone to file a petition seeking a probe.

Legal experts say that the judiciary is independent and is not under anyone. If a probe is initiated by it suo motu, it would be a serious one and the matter can be taken to the logical.

Such a probe can be initiated by both the Supreme Court as well as the Madras high court. The Madras HC can in fact seek a report on the violence and order a probe. The Supreme Court too which had reserved orders on the Jallikattu matter can bring it up and ask for a probe. The courts could ask for a judicial probe or even an investigation by a Central agency which could be conducted under its supervision.

Legal experts say that the the high court and Supreme Court have vast powers vested in them under Articles 226 and 32 respectively. Both the courts can order for an inquiry and even place the commissioner of police under suspension pending enquiry for a breakdown of law and order.

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