BY- DEEPTI YADAV
The divisional bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice TS Sivagnanam of madras high court made the remarks while hearing a petition to reopen the National Human Rights Commission‘s (NHRC) investigation into the matter.
“The incident is of the year 2018. It really has gone out of public mind but there were fifteen or sixteen citizens who lost their lives. That kind of incident should be a scar on the face of our democracy. We should never forget. If there can be something that can be done for families apart from what is done (let us do that)… there has to be closure…our system delays so much, that sometimes the entire idea is lost,” Chief Justice Banerjee observed.
He further added that “We want an answer as to what instigated … what were the circumstances? Without meaning disrespect, yes, the protest may not have been legal or legitimate, but citizens cannot be fired on the behalf of any corporate body…That is very important for the citizens of the State to know…(we have to) try and see that this kind of an incident does not happen again in this democracy,”.
The court also asked the State to take steps to compensate the victims of the 2018 shooting, including the families of those who died.
“The State must be seen to be with the families and not an adversary despite whatever may have happened. The State needs to walk the extra mile for such purpose and the learned Advocate General is requested to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to assuage the feelings of the families of the victims,” the Court said
Given that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is doing the investigating into the matter, the Court directed that the matter should be given a meaningful end.
“The matter should be brought to its logical end as expeditiously as possible to give a meaningful closure to the matter and the circumstances in which firing had to be resorted to against unarmed citizens must come out in the report”.