The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central and the state governments on two PILs seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the racial attacks on people from northeastern states and a clampdown on such attacks.
After initial reluctance as similar matter was being heard by the Delhi High Court, a bench of Chief Justice P.Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice returnable in four weeks.
The apex court felt that if it intervened, then the Delhi High Court could have apprehensions.
Addressing the reservation by the court, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told the court that Delhi High Court was looking into just one incident of death of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania and could not deal with incidents in Bangalore and Kolkata.
Rohtagi told the court that it could clarify that its entertaining two PILs would in no way inhibit the high court from proceeding into the matter it was looking into. He pointed to the exodus that took place in Bangalore last year in the wake of racial attacks.
Of the two PIL one was moved by lawyers Karma Dorjee, Gainilung Panmei, Pragya Baghel, Sarvesh Singh Baghel, Rahul Pratap, Vaibhav Tomar and Anirudh Singh and other was by Ranbir Yadav, Abhishek Garg and Baban Kumar. Both the PILs were tagged together.
The PIL by Dorjee, Panmei, Pragya Baghel, Sarvesh Singh Baghel, Rahul Pratap, Tomar and Anirudh Singh have sought that the SIT should be headed by a retired judge of the apex court and have an officer from the northeast, carry out its investigation in a time-bound manner and submit their status report to the court.
The PIL has also sought direction to the central and the state and union territory governments to inform the court on the steps taken by them to curb the menace of racial atrocities/ discrimination in the society.
The PIL by Yadav, Garg and Baban Kumar had said that frequency with which boys from northeastern states were being targeted by way of verbal and physical attacks was a matter of serious concern.