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SC refuses PIL seeking CBI probe into 'molestation' of Gargi students, asks petitioner to move HC

| | New Delhi
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SC refuses PIL seeking CBI probe into 'molestation' of Gargi students, asks petitioner to move HC

Thursday, 13 February 2020 | PTI | New Delhi

SC refuses PIL seeking CBI probe into 'molestation' of Gargi students, asks petitioner to move HC

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking a CBI probe monitored by it into the alleged molestation of students during a cultural festival at the all-woman Gargi College here last week.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked lawyer M L Sharma, who mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing, to move the Delhi High Court with his plea.

"Why don't you go to the Delhi HC. If they dismiss the petition then you come here," the bench, also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said.

The apex court said it would like to have advantage of Delhi HC's view on this matter.

Sharma expressed apprehension that electronic evidence related to the case might be destroyed.

On this, the top court said, "Delhi High Court can also pass order like the Telangana High Court in the police encounter case to preserve electronic evidence".

Sharma had sought a direction to the probe agency to seize all video recordings and CCTV camera footage of the college campus.

He had also sought arrest of the people behind the "planned criminal conspiracy".

On February 6, a group of men broke into Gargi College during the 'Riverie' fest and allegedly groped, harassed and molested the attendees, who claimed that security officials just kept watching when the incident took place.

The incident came to light after some students took to Instagram to narrate their unpleasant experiences during the fest and alleged that security personnel did nothing to control the unruly groups.

The petitioner alleged that it was a planned political and criminal conspiracy hatched in the backdrop of the Delhi elections and since February 6, no action has been taken against the accused.

Polls is Delhi were held on February 8 and the result was declared on February 11.

"The state government took no action. It is a clear criminal conspiracy hatched by the political party to deploy accused persons to provoke the Delhi public for effecting voting in their favour. Despite presence of Delhi Police ... On February 6, neither principal nor other state authorities tried to stop and arrest the accused persons," the PIL had stated.

The petition claimed that "deliberate chants of Jai Shri Ram discloses that it is a political, planned conspiracy" and blamed the chief minister of Delhi for not taking any action against the accused.

"Entire incident is being supported/protected by the state government and no action of arrest has been done till now for justice and to prosecute all accused persons therefore unless this court takes action, real political persons and accused persons will not be arrested at all," the plea had said.

Besides the security arranged by the college, the area had Delhi Police and paramilitary force personnel who were stationed there for the assembly polls.

According to police, a case was registered under IPC sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

 

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