Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday slammed the state police on the Patel quota violence saying they transgressed the law by committing atrocities on people and told the government that restoration of peace should be on high priority.
The two judge bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice NV Anjaria while admitting a PIL directed the state government to place a report on what actions it has taken against errant policemen.
"The state must make police aware about their powers. What about the police atrocities and what actions you intend to take against the errant officers Females were also beaten by male officers. Police should not transgress the law," the court sought to know.
The PIL filed by city-based Prakash Kapadia sought court's direction to the state government to control the situation and to take steps against police personnel claiming they had committed atrocities on people after widespread violence broke out in Gujarat due to arrest of the Patel community leader agitating for OBC quota, Hardik Patel.
"Restoration of peace (in Gujarat) should stand high on priority," the court told state home secretary P K Taneja who was summoned.
The state government submitted that it proposes to take action action against the errant officers. The court then directed the state to report to the court what action it plans to take on September 3, next date of hearing.
The high court said that there should be no shielding of police personnel.
Earlier today, the High Court asked the home secretary to remain present in the court to clarify the state's actions in connection with the PIL.
The petitioner had demanded immediate actions by the government as the festival of Rakshabandhan is on August 29.
Following the court's direction, home secretary Taneja appeared and filed the state government's reply stating actions taken by them to restore peace in the violence hit Gujarat.
"A team of high ranking official consisting of chief secretary, home secretary, DG and IG, DGP (Intelligence), DGP (Law and Order) is holding meeting twice a day to take stock of situation of entire state and issuing requisite order," Advocate General Kamal Trivedi for the state government told the court.
He submitted that chief minister Anandiben Patel's appeal for peace to the people is being telecast continuously.
He said that 10 senior officials of the rank of SP and above, including two ADGP have been deputed at sensitive areas of the state across the state.
Trivedi also told the High court about deployment of Army and paramilitary forces in the state.
After hearing the submissions of the state government, the high court told the state to abide by declaration of the state.
"Advocate General informed about the requisite steps that have been taken by the state to maintain peace and order. We direct the state and particularly chief secretary and home secretary to abide by the declaration made before this court," said the court.
"On the aspect of curfew prevailing in few parts of Ahmedabad, it must be seen that public can enjoy the festival of Rakhsabandhan," the court said.