OROP: No judicial probe into cops' "attack" on ex-servicemen, says Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined a plea for a judicial probe into alleged atrocities by Delhi Police on ex-servicemen demanding 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP), but sought the Centre's response on a retired armyman's plea seeking action against cops who ordered the use of "brutal and illegal force".

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 22, 2015, 23:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined a plea for a judicial probe into alleged atrocities by Delhi Police on ex-servicemen demanding 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP), but sought the Centre's response on a retired armyman's plea seeking action against cops who ordered the use of "brutal and illegal force".

Justice Siddharth Mridul declined to order a judicial enquiry into the alleged atrocities by Delhi Police against the veterans, saying it cannot institute such an enquiry due to limitation.

"I cannot. There is limitation. Judges are to exercise ... Power, but to certain extent," the court observed and asked 75-year-old former sepoy Bisamber's counsel whether he has any photographs regarding his charge of "merciless removal of retired war veterans" from Jantar Mantar on August 14.

The judge also said "I hope it is (this petition) not to pressurise the government for your demand".

The petitioner's counsel told the court their demands have already been accepted, so there was no point of pressurising the government.

The court also observed that the alleged incident was a simple case under section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of IPC and the petitioner should approach the magisterial court.

"The offence is under 323. No fundamental rights of the petitioner have been taken away," the judge said.

The petitioner's counsel contended that the court should seek a reply from the authorities regarding the incident in which police officials while "mercilessly removing the retired war veterans had beaten up the petitioner and removed the medals worn on his shirt by tearing it".

Accepting the petitioner's request, the court asked Delhi police to file affidavit explaining why and under what circumstances the petitioner, who along with others were on protest demanding OROP, was removed.

The court also asked police to state in their affidavit, to be filed before November 3, whether any fundamental rights were violated.

Meanwhile, the counsel for Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the court that the issues raised by the petitioner "shall factually be best answered by the Delhi police."

The armyman has sought direction to MHA and Delhi police Commissioner to take "strict action against the police officers who had ordered to use brutal and illegal force against the war veterans and ex-servicemen", alleging that the action of the cops indicate blatant and flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of life and liberty.