New Delhi, February 26: The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Delhi Police for inaction in quelling Delhi’s riots, which have so far claimed over 27 lives and injured a few hundred. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph demanded to know why police had to “wait for orders” to act against anyone making “inflammatory” remarks. 

The observations came despite opposition from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said it would legitimise criticism against police and demoralise it. “One of my cops has been killed and another DCP injured,” Mehta argued, urging the court not to make adverse comments against the police. The bench, however, refused to hear a plea on the violence on the ground that its remit was limited to a plea to shift the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protestors elsewhere. 

“Unfortunate things have happened. Who can say that what has happened is not unfortunate,” Justice Kaul observed. Mehta was quick to agree that it was unfortunate, but added a rider: “There will always be issues of why, what and how. The DCP was virtually lynched. We don’t know under what circumstances the police are functioning,” Mehta contended but Justice Joseph said he would be remiss in his duty towards the nation and the institution if he did not speak up.

“There is no professionalism in police. Do you think UK and US police wait for orders to act if anyone makes an inflammatory remark? Unless police acts and people are not allowed to get away, these things will keep happening. They won’t happen if police act,” Justice Joseph said. 

The SG intervened, saying that the government was also committed to the nation, prompting Justice Kaul to say that all that Justice Joseph was saying was that the Prakash Singh ruling ought to be followed. 

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