New Delhi: Observing that it is the common man who is hit by violent stirs, the Supreme Court Wednesday refused to stay the Rajasthan High Court`s contempt notices against the state`s erstwhile chief secretary and police chief for their alleged failure to curb the Gujjars` violence in 2007.
"You can approach the high court and argue your case. Be it the Gujjar violence or any other agitations, it is the common man who is affected," said a bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Misra.
"It is said 50 people died in the agitation. The state was expected to maintain the law and order as per the direction," the bench added, while denying any relief to the two officers.
State`s Additional Advocate General Manish Singhvi argued that the high court had passed an erroneous order as it was the government which had filed a contempt petition against Kirori Singh Bainsala for spearheading the Gujjars` stir in support of their demand for scheduled tribe status.
Singhvi`s argument, however, failed to impress the bench which said all these submissions could be made before the high court.
The apex court made the observation while declining to stay the May 5 order of the high court, which had issued notices to erstwhile state Chief Secretary D C Samant and its Director General of Police A S Gill, asking them to explain as to why contempt proceedings should not be launched against them for their failure to control the violence.
Following a petition, the high court had on September 10, 2007, directed the state government including the chief secretary and the DGP to maintain law and order to prevent loss of lives and damages to property.
But, despite the high court`s order, the state had erupted in violence, resulting in death of several people, besides torching and damages to public properties.