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Peoples Union for Democraticrights and anr. Vs. Ministry of Home Affairs - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petition No. 2697 of 1984
Reported inAIR1985Delhi268; ILR1987Delhi235
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantPeoples Union for Democraticrights and anr.
RespondentMinistry of Home Affairs
Advocates: Govind Mukhoty,; P.K. Gupta,; Nandita Haksar,;
a) the case debated on whether the petitioners had any legal or statutory right to compel the government to appoint a commission of inquiry - the petitioner had filed a public interest litigation, for the appointment of commission of inquiry on account of assassination of the prime minister - it was ruled that the petitioner had no legal right to force the government to appoint a commission of inquiry, irrespective of the matter, being publicly importantb) the case focused on the petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of india, seeking appointment of a commission of enquiry in the matter involving assassination of prime minister - it was specified that the public interest litigation, should only be entertained by the court, if it was in a position to give effective relief -.....yogeshwar dayal, j.(1) following english american decisions, our supreme court has, of late admitted exceptions from the strict rules relating to locus; standi and the like in the case of a class of litigations which have acquired classification known as 'public interest litigation', that is. where the public in general are interested in the enforcement of fundamental rights and other statutory rights. (2) the litigation may be initiated by public spirited organization on behalf of persons belonging to socially and economically weaker sections complaining of violation of their human rights. (3) present writ petition has also been filed by two such organizations namely. people union for democratic rights, through its secretary, dr. sudesh vaid ana peoples union for civil liberties. (4).....

Yogeshwar Dayal, J.

(1) Following English American decisions, our Supreme Court has, of late admitted exceptions from the strict rules relating to locus; standi and the like in the case of a class of litigations which have acquired classification known as 'Public interest litigation', that is. where the public in general are interested in the enforcement of fundamental rights and other statutory rights.

(2) The litigation may be initiated by public spirited organization on behalf of persons belonging to socially and economically weaker sections complaining of violation of their human rights.

(3) Present writ petition has also been filed by two such organizations namely. People Union for Democratic Rights, through its Secretary, Dr. Sudesh Vaid ana Peoples Union for Civil Liberties.

(4) Today it is perhaps common place to observe that as a result of a series of judicial decisions since about 1950 both in the Supreme Court and the High Courts in India, House of Lords and the Court of Appeal in England, there has been a dramatic and a radical change in the scope of the judicial review. That change has been described-by no means critically- as an upsurge of judicial activism. Historically the use of the old prerogative writs of certiorari prohibition and mandamus are well known but the use of those writs have come to be used for the purpose of controlling every action of the Executive.

(5) In this case, we ire not concerned with that Bench of judicial review which is concerned with the control of interior courts or tribunals. But we are vitally concerned with the branch of judicial review which is concerned with the control of executive action or inaction. This Branch of administrative law has evolved on a case by case basis and the process is still continuing. But the history of development of law of writs in India shows that each generation of Judges has an enormous power of .shaping its own law. (See : Speech of Lord Roskil in the Council of Civil Service Unions and others and Minister for the Civil Service, reported as 1984 (3) W L R 1174 (The Weekly Law Reports 7th December, 1984J.

(6) The petitioners organizations claimed themselves to be non-political organizations concerned with the protection of fundamental rights of the people as guaranteed to them under the Indian Constitution. These organizations claim to have carried out investigations by sending 'Fact Finding Teams' for finding . out facts resulting in the recent ghastly' crimes which were perpetrated during the recent riots in Delhi.

(7) The petition for invoking the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution by way of public interest litigation itself appears to have been drafted on the instructions of these organizations.

(8) The petition is accompanied by a report of a Joint Inquiry published under the banner of People s Union fop. Democratic Rights anil People's Union for Civil Liberties. The report purports to cover the Causes and Impact of the riots in Delhi from 31st October to 10th November, 1984. The petition is also accompanied by an article by Mr. K. F. Rustamji, a retired senior Police Officer and various other documents. The petition was filed ill this Court on or about 26th November, 1984. The petition was supported by an affidavit of Mr. Suresh Vaid.

(9) Before Rules was issued in the petition, an additional affidavit was filed on behalf of petitioner No. I, namely. Peoples Union for Democratic Rights. This affidavit was filed on or about 14th Dcember, 19S4. It was stated in this affidavit that In view of directions of the Court dated 4th December, 1984, the Peoples Union for Democratic Rights have given relevant affidavits and statements of persons affected by riots in the area of Kalyan Puri and Sultan puri police stations so that action may be taken on those affidavits and statements.

(10) It was further stated in this affidavit that subsequently the petitioners organizations have collected more information regarding the way investigation and prosecution have been carried Qut Along with this additional affidavit, an affidavit of Mr. Lalita Ramdas, a Volunteer of Nagrik Ekta Manch. was filed Along with a list of miscreants in one of the riots affected area, namely, Nand Nagri. This affidavit was also accompanied by a report from Nanaksar Ashram prepared by Nagrik Ektu Manch and some more affidavits.

(11) In the petition, the petitioners have prayed for the following reliefs:-

(A)By an appropriate writ, Order or direction appoint a Commission of Enquiry to carry out an investigation into the role of the police and political interference ]in the recent carnage as done in public interest litigation cases.

(B)By an appropriate Writ, Order or direction direct the Cbi or the Crime Branch to investigate into the role of 'the police and politicians in the recent carnage and submit its report to this Honb'le Court.

(C)By an appropriate writ, order or direction .direct the relevant Executive Magistrate to take security for keeping peace in the areas under Sections 107, 108 109 and 110 of the Criminal Procedure Code from the people (Police and politicians) named by the survivors in the petitioner's Report and the report of Delhi University teachers and in the statements and affidavits of the survivors.

(D)By an appropriate Writ, order or direction direct that on indemnification parade of all the people named by the survivors be held so that valuable evidence is not lost.

(E)By an appropriate Writ, order or direction debar those so identified from going to those areas for a period of at least six months so that an atmosphere of security and trust is created.

(12) On the show cause notice being issued to the respondents as to why the petition should not be admitted an affidavit dead 18th December, 1984 of Shri SS. Jog, Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police, New Delhi, was filed. This affidavit was accompanied by a statement showing the various police stations of Delhi and detailing in respect of these police stations the number of cases which have been registered in connection with the aforesaid riots, number of persons who have been arrested, the persons who are under custody, the persons who have been released on bail, the persons who have been arrested under Prospective laws and also actions against the police officers. It was also accompanied by a statement under the heading, 'Details of affidavits and their contents' in relation to affidavits of riot victims filed with the writ petition. 'The statement discloses number of accused persons of public or police identified by the complainants, the number of arrests in pursuance thereof and the date on which various statements were recorded and also statements of the number of persons involved and whether arrests have been made and if so of how many persons vis-a-vis each affidavit filed with the writ petition.

(13) In the affidavit of the Commissioner of Police itself besides making a legal submission as to the locus standi of the petitioners to approach the Court, the exercises of jurisdiction by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution was questioned and it was submitted that no writ or order or direction can be issued for either the appointment of a Commission of' Enquiry or for directing any particular agency to investigate the matters with regard to the recent riots or for taking proceedings as prayed in the aforesaid prayers (c), (d) and (e) of the writ petition.

(14) In para 5(e) of the writ petition, the petitioners has made reference to annexed Statements of survivors Along with affidavits of some of the survivors which named the culprits and these were filed collectively as annexure 'C'.

(15) In para 5(e) of the writ petition, the petitioners had 25th November, 1984, Shri V. P. Marwaha. Additional Commissioner of Police, C.I.D. has already been nominated to identify the causes and the officers/men behind the alleged failure of the Delhi Police to maintain law and order during the recent riots. It was stated that the Enquiry by Shri V. P. Marwaha will be on the following points :-

(I)to identify instances of serious failure and negligence. if any, on the part of individual police officers[men.

(II)to identify good work, if any, done by individual police officers [men so that they are suitably rewarded.

(III)to identify the deficiencies and limitations of manpower and equipment of the police force and to suggest measures to tone up the functioning of Delhi Police to meet the challenges in the days of come.

(16) It was also pleaded in the affidavit that a special investigation Cel of the Vigilance Department has been 'set up to investigate in details the matters relating to the recent riots. It was also stated that various cases were registered, number of persons were arrested and large number of witnesses were examined to identify the criminals and action was also taken against such of the police -officials as well, who prima facie, were found negligent in the discharge of their duties. The affidavit further points out that up to 7th December, 1984, 375 cases in different police districts were registered ; 1922 persons were arrested for their involvements in the cases of riots, murder etc. Apart from that 2657 persons were arrested under the preventive law. De-failed statement with regard to the registration of the cases was annexed as annexure R-l. In this affidavit, there was breakup given, of various cases registered with different police stations of different areas in Delhi. This statement makes special mention of Ii cases having been registered with police station, Kalyanpuri, of which reference was made in the writ petition and in which 186 persons have been arrested and 42 persons have been arrested under preventive law. Regarding other area of Sultanpuri to which reference was made in the writ petition., it was pointed out that four cases have been registered, eight persons were arrested and 46 persons were arrested under preventive law.

(17) In reply to the averments in para 5(e) of the Writ petition the Commissioner of Police in para No. 6 of his aforesaid affidavit deposed.

'THAT with regard to the affidavits of various persons filed Along with the writ petition as annexure 'C' a detailed statement of the actions taken has been tabulated and is annexed as annexure R-2 headed as 'Details of affidavits and their contents'.

The statement filed as annexure R-2 shows various cases registered as per the following persons whose affidavits ami statements were recorded :

1.Smt. Vidya Kaur. 2. Smt. Darshan Kaur. 3. Sh. Puran Singh. 4. Smt. Pyari Bai. .5. Smt. Indro. 6. Smt. Somti Kaur. 7. Smt.Bhoji Bai. 8. Sh. Guljar Singh. 9. Smt. Shanti Devi. 10. Sh. Darshan Singh. 11. Smt. Surinder Kaur. 12. Smt. Gurdeep Kaur. 13. Smt. Ram Kaur. 14. Smt. Padmini Kaur. 15. shri Sumer Singh.

belonging to either Trilok Pun or Sultanpuri.

(18) This statement shows that FIRs record are of 3rd November, 1984 arid thereafter right till 7th December, 1984, and practically in relation to all the deponents or persons whole statements were filed collectively as annexure 'C'. The cases are under investigation.

(19) The Division Bench, however, by order dated '11th January, 1985 directed Rule to be issued in the Writ petition.

(20) On '21st January, 1985, an application -was filed on behalf of the respondents praying that the Rule issued may be discharged and the petition may be dismissed. In this application, apart from impugning the right of the petitioners for directing the Central Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry, it was pointed out that the issues involved in the present case are of very wide import and involve questions relating to the security of the State and integrity of this country and it would not be in the National interest to disclose the steps which the Government proposes to take in this matter. It was also mentioned that in relation to riots, a number of First Information Reports have been lodged, cases have been registered, several persons have been arrested and investigations are being conducted by a Special Cell of the Vigilance department and the investigation by any agency other than already invested at this stage will impair the fair investigation of the entire matter.

(21) This application came up before Hon'ble the Chief Justice and Goswamy,J.on 21st January, 1985 when it was directed to be placed before us on 23rd January, 1985 and the learned counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Gobinda Mukhoty also appeared before us.

(22) A grievance was made before us that nobody authorised has appeared on behalf of the Union of India and the appearance had been put in by Mr. T. .S. Krishnamurty Iyer. Senior Advocate and Mr. M. M. Sudan, Advocate only on behalf of Delhi' Administration. However, without deciding the application for revoking the Rule, the matter was adjourned to 24th January, 1985. '

(23) ON-24TH January, 1985'an affidavit was fifed on behalf of the respondents of Shri Surinder Kumar, Deputy Secretary, Government of india. Ministry of Home Affairs and it was inter alias pointed out by way to annexure R-2(A) which gives details of statement of cases registered during the recent riots in Delhi relating to East District New Delhi District police stationwise. It was pointed out in' this statement in relation to each police district, the various police stations like Shahdara Seelam Pur, Yamuna Puri, Kalyanpuri, Farsh Bazar, Krishan Nagar, Seema Puri and Gandhi Nagar, the actual dates on which F.I.R's of recent riots in Delhi were registered, various provisions under which they were registered. In the East district various FIRs were registered during the period 1st November, 1984 for 14th November, 1984 However, it is no necessary to give individual date on which the FIRs were registered. Similarly, the statements mentioned, the various cases registered in various Police stations of New Delhi District including Police Station Parliament Street, Connaught Place Chankaya Puri and Tughlak Road during the period of 31st October, 1984, 1st November, 1984, 2nd November. .1984. 4th November, 1984 and the statement also gives details of certain FIRs which were registered by Delhi Railways Police on 1st and 2nd November. 1984 under Sections 147. 148, 149, 201, 295 and 302 Indian Penal Code at police station New Delhi Railway Station and Police Station Railway Delhi Main.

(24) The statement annexure R-2 also contains separate statement of 38 cases having been registered in various districts of Delhi Police during the period 31st October, 1984, 1st November, 1984, 2nd November, 1984, 5th November, 1984 right till practically 15th November, 19S4. Most of these cases have been registered under the provisions of Sections 147, 148. 149. 427. 436 and 302/211 Indian Penal Code and they relate to different areas of West District which includes areas like Sultanpuri, Nangloi, Mangol Puri, Tirlok Puri, Rajouri Garden, Punjabi Bagh etc. Similarly a separate statement is also filed of rioting cases registered in Central district of the Delhi Police. This statement also shows various cases of murder, attempt to murder, arson and riots. Similarly, there are separate list of FIRs registered at the Police Stations of North District at the initiative of the Police. These cases also relate to FIRs registered

(25) , considering the material on-record and the urgency of the matter, We fixed the hearing of the Writ petition for 6th February, 1985 to decide the question about the maintainability of the Writ petition.

(26) The hearing, accordingly, started on 6th February, 1985 but apart from the maintainability of the writ petition, learned counsel for the parties also argued on the merits of the writ petition. We would, accordingly, decide the writ petition on merits as well.

(27) During the regular hearing of the writ pe,tition, on oral direction of this Court, further affidavits were filed by the Commissioner of Police, Shri S. S. Jog and an affidavit of Shri R.S. Sethi, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Delhi.

(28) We shall recapitulate the contents of the affidavits of the Deputy Commissioner a little later as it deals with various Relief measures adopted by the Administration in setting up various Relief Camps and other measures of reliefs.

(29) In the additional affidavit of the Commissioner of Police dated 12th February, 1985, it was pointed out that the Special Investigation Cell mentioned in the earlier affidavit which has 'been filed) at the show cause stage of the writ petition, would be 'dealing with complicated cases arising out of the recent disturbances and this Cell is headed by Shri V.P. Marwaha Additional Commissioner of Police, . who is being assisted by various officers of Police and their total number is 34; that 50 cases of various districts which were found to be complicated were transferred from various police stations to this Special Investigation Cell. It was also pointed out in this affidavit that during the investigation of these 50 cases, the officers of Special Investigation Cell have examined more than 1474 persons to identify the 'criminals; over 600 complaints from public have also been received which were also being examined; that the Special Cell while investigating these cases has affected arrest of 102 persons in 50 cases only. It is also pointed out in this affidavit that scope of this inquiry by Shri Marwaha is wider in the sense that if during the course of said inquiry, it is found that a police official has been negligent in registering or investigating a particular case, certainly on the basis of the said report, .the Special Cell for investigation constituted under the Orders of the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, will take cognizance of the offence.

(30) It was again pointed out in this affidavit that in ail 397 cases have so far been registered in connection with the riots in Delhi under various provisions of law, details of which have already been noticed that so far 20SO persons have been arrested for their involvement in these cases; the investigation of the cases is going on and more arrest will follow. It was further stated that during the course of notes as a preventive measure, approximately 2657 persons had been arrested.

(31) It was also pointed out in this very affidavit that with a view to accord protection to such persons who suffered during the riots and to inject confidence in their minds, Delhi Police has posted pickets at all the sensitive and vulnerable points, details of which are mentioned in Annexure 'X' filed with this affidavit. We will deal with Annexure 'X' a little later but it may be stated that out of 397 cases mentioned earlier, 375 cases were registered prior to even filing of the present writ petition and this affidavit also gives details of persons arrested police district-wise of the six police districts as well as the persons arrested in pursuance of investigation by Special Investigation Cell total 208).

(32) Anrisxure 'X' filed with this affidavit gives a list of easting police pickets with the complement of police strength mentioned in each police stations in various districts as on 29th January, 1985 or as- on 30th January, 1985 depending on the police stations referred to in the various lists.:

(33) Having dealt with some material, thus, placed on record, let us examine at this stage some of the cases relating to Public interest litigation before the Supreme Court as guidelines for such litigation being entertained by the High Court in the exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. We may, however point out that in 'Public interest Litigation' there is no such thing as precedents. Each case is based on its own peculiar facts. The procedure adopted by the Supreme Court or any other Court in any such litigation is not necessarily a precedent of binding nature in all such class of cases relating to 'Public interest Litigation'. This is so as each case of 'Public interest Litigation' has its own peculiarity. The leading case on the subject is the case of Bandhu-Mukti Morcha v. Union of India and others, : [1984]2SCR67 (2) which was decided by three learned Judges of the Supreme Court, namely, Bhagwati, Pathak and A. N. Sen, JJJ. The main judgment in. the case was written by Bhagwati, J. and dealing with the public interest litigation initiated for release of bonded labourers in the stone quarries in Faridabad district of Haryana.

(34) The proceeding in this public interest litigation was initiated on the basis of the complaint by way of,a letter containing thumb impression of the bonded labourers. The Supreme Court treated the letter as a Writ Petition. Since the system of bonded labourers stood prohibited by Article 23 of the Constitution, Bhagwati, J. took pains to notice. that though this provision was enacted as far back as 26th January. 1950 and many years have passed since then, no serious effort was made to give effect' to Article 23 of the Constitution and stamp out the practice of bonded labourers. Learned Judge also noticed that the Parliament had enacted Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 providing for the abolition of bonded labour system with a view to preventing the economic and physical exploitation of the weaker sections of the people. But, unfortunately, subsequent events show that the pernicious practice of bonded labour had not been eradicated from the national scene and that it continues to disfigure the social and economic life of he country at certain places and as yet the bonded labourers iad not even been identified and released from bondage. The Supreme Court also noticed that -some States Government in order to shirk their obligations, had taken the plea that there may be some forced labour in the State but it was not bonded labour. Since the fact itself of even existence of bonded labourers was in dispute, the Supreme Court thought it fit. to appoint ' two Commissioners to visit certain Stone quarries in Faridabad district with a view to find out whether the workers in those districts were willingly working in the Stone quarries and also enquire about their condition of work. It was pursuant to this order dated 26th February, 1982 that the two Commissioner visited the quarries on 27h February, 1982 and 28th February, 1982 and made a report to the Supreme Court.

(35) On receipt of the reports, the Supreme Court directed the reports of these two Commissioners to be supplied to all the Mines lessee and stone crushers who were respondents to the writ petition so that they may have an opportunity to lie their reply to the facts found in' the reports. The Lessee denied the correctness of the report and it was in this situation that the Court appointed Dr. Patwardhan of the Indian Institute of Technology to carry out socio legal investigation in the terms as mentioned in their order. Dr. Patwardhan was allowed to take assistance of many ..persons other than the parties. After thorough enquiry. Dr. Patwardhan submitted his report.

(36) Bhagwati, J. before dealing with the cases on mat-its, noticed various preliminary objections at the threshold to an enquiry by the Court as to whether the workmen are living in bondage and inhuman conditions.

(37) Thereafter Bhagwati, J. noticed the Supreme Court's earlier decisions in the Judges appointment and transfer cases 1982 Sc 149 and pointed out that it was for the first time that the Supreme Court took the view,

'THAT where a person or class of persons to whom, legal injury is caused by reason of violation of a fundamental right is unable to approach the Court for judicial redress on account of poverty or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged tion, any member of the public acting bona fide can. move the Court for relief under Article 32 and a fortiorari, also under Article 226, so that the fundamental rights may become meaningful not only for the rich and the well-to-do who have the means to approach the Court out also for the large masses of people who are living a life of want and destitution and who are by reason of lack of awareness, assertiveness arid resources unable to seek judicial redress.'

(38) The Supreme Court also dealt with the preliminary objections of the counsel appearing for the State of Haryana that the Court had no power to appoint the Commissioners and the reports made by them have no evidentiary value since the report was based on exparte statement. The argument of the learned counsel appearing for the State of Haryana was that Order 46 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1.966, deals with Commissions and since the Commission issued by the Court did not fall within the purview of Order 46, they were outside the power of the Court and the Court was not entitled to place' any reliance on the reports for the purposes of adjudicating the issue .arising in the writ petition.

(39) Bhagwati, J. negatived the objection of the learned counsel for the State of Haryana. and very pertinently again. observed.

'NOW it is obvious that the poor and the disadvantaged cannot possibly produce relevant material before the Court in support of their case and equally where an action is brought on their behalf by a citizen acting pro bono publico it would be almost. impossible for him to gather the relevant material and place it before the Court. What is the Supreme Court to do in such a case Would the Supreme Court not be failing in discharge of its constitutional duty of enforcing a fundamental right if it refuses to intervene because the petitioner belonging to the under privileged segment of society or a public spirited citizen espousing his cause is unable to produce the relevant material before the Court. If the Supreme Court were to adopt a passive approach and decline to intervene in such a case because relevant material has not been produced before It by the party seeking its intervention, the fundamental rights would reining merely a teasing illusion so far as the poor and disadvantaged sections of the community are concerned. It is for this reason that the Supreme Court has evolved the practice of appointing commissions for the purpose of gathering facts and data in regard to a complaint of breach of a fundamental right made on behalf of the wreaker sections of the society. The report oil the Commissioner would furnish prima facie evidence of the facts and data gathered by the commissioner and that is why the Supreme Court is careful to appoint, a-responsible person as commissioner. ............. and the court then consider the report of the commissioner and the affidavits which may have been filed and proceed to adjudicate upon the issue arising in the writ petition. It would be entirely for the Court to consider what weight to attach to the facts and data stated in the report of the commissioner and to what extent to act upon such facts and data..... Now it is true that Order XIvi of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 makes the provisions of Order Xxvi of the Code of Civil Procedure, except Rules 13, 14, 19. 20, 21 and 22 applicable to tile Supreme Court and lays down the procedure, for an application for issue of a commission, but Order Xxvi is not exhaustive and does not detract from the inherent power of the Supreme Court to appoint a commissioner if the appointment of such commission is found necessary for the .purpose of securing enforcement of a fundamental right in exercise of its constitutional jurisdiction under Article 32. Order Xlvi of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 cannot in any way militate against the power of the Supreme Court under Article 32 and in fact Rule 6 of Order XIvii of the Supreme Court Rules 1966' provides that nothing in those rules 'shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice'. We cannot thereforee accept the convention of the learned Additional Solicitor-General and Mr, Phad, that the , acted beyond its power in appointing M/s Ashok Srivastava and Ashok Panda as commissioners in the first instance and Dr. Patwardhan as commissioner at a subsequent stage for the purposes of making an enquiry into the conditions of workmen employed in the stone quarries. The petitioner in the writ petition specifically alleged violation of the fundamental rights of the workmen employed in the stone quarries under Articles 21 and 23 and it was thereforee necessary for the Court to appoint these commissioners for the purpose of enquiring into the facts related to this complaint......... We may point .out that what we have said above in regard to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Supreme Court under Article 32 must apply equally in relation to the exercise of jurisdiction by the High Courts under Article 226, for the latter jurisdiction is also a new constitutional jurisdiction and it is conferred in the same wide terms as the jurisdiction under Article 32 and the same powers can and must thereforee be exercised by the High Courts while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226. In fact, the jurisdiction of the High Courts under Article 226 is much wider, because the High Courts are required to exercise this jurisdiction not only for enforcement of a fundamental right but also for enforcement of any legal right and there are many rights conferred on the poor and the disadvantaged which are the creation of statute and-they need to be enforced as urgently and vigorously as fundamental rights.'

(40) It is, thus, obvious that the Supreme Court adopted the procedure of appointing Commissioner since the very violation of fundamental -right was denied. That was the crucial issue before any relief could have been granted in the writ petition. The Commissioners were appointed for investigating this crucial issue, namely, the existence of bonded labourers.

(41) The observations of Pathak, J. of cases where Supreme Court and the High Court may entertain public interest litigation are very pertinent to notice. The observations are :

'NOT infrequently public interest litigation affects the rights of persons' not before the Court, and in shaping the relief the Court must invariably take into account its impact on those interests. Moreover, when its jurisdiction is invoked on behalf of a group, it is as well to remember that differences may exist in content and emphasis between the claims of different sections of the group. For all these ' reasons the Court must exercisethe greatest caution and adopt procedures ensuring sufficient notice to all interests likely to be affected. Moreover, the nature of the litigation sometimes involves the continued intervention of the Court over a period of time, and the organising of the litigation to a satis factory conclusion calls for judicial statesmanship, a close understanding of constitutional and legal values in the context of contemporary social forces, and a judicious mix of restraint and activism determined by the dictates of existing realities. Importantly, at the same time, the Court must never forget that its jurisdiction extends no farther than the legitimate limits of its constitutional powers and avoid despising into political territory which under the Constitution has been appropriated to other organs of the State. This last aspect of the matter calls for more detailed consideration, which will be attempted later.'

'Turning now to the nature and extent of the relief which can be contemplated in public interest 'legation, we enter into an area at once delicate and sensitive and fraught with give implications. Article 32 confers widest amplitude of power on this Court in the matter of granting relief. It has power to issue 'directions or orders or writs', and there is no specific indication, no express language, limiting, or circumscribing' that power. Yet, the power is limited by its very nature, that it is judicial power. It is power which pertains to the judicial organ of the State, identified by the very nature of the judicial institution. There are certain fundamental constitutional concepts which, although elementary need to be recalled at times. The Constitution envisages a broad division of the power of the State between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Although the division is not precisely demarcated, there is general acknowledgement of its limits. The limits can be gathered from the written text of, the Constitution, from conventions and constitutional practice, and from an entire array of judicial decisions. The constitutional lawyer concedes a certain measure of overlapping in functional action among the three orgaane of the State. But there is no warrant for assuming a geometrical congruence. It is cannon place that while the Legislature enacts the law, the executive implements it and the Court interprets it and in doing so, -adjudicates on the validity of executive action and, under our Constitution even judges the validity of the legislation itself And yet it is well recognised, that in a certain sphere the Legislature is possessed of judicial power,the executive possesses a measure of both legislative and judicial functions, and the Court, in its duty of interpreting the law, accomplishes in its perfected action a marginal degree of legislative exercise. Nonetheless, a fine and delicate balance is envisaged under our Constitution between these primary institutions of the State. In similar constitutions elsewhere the Courts have been anxious to maintain and preserve that balance. An example is provided by Marbury V- Madison. I do not hear to say that the Court should hesitate or falter or withdraw from the exercise of 't.s jurisdiction. On the contrary, it must plainly do its duty under the Constitution. But I do say that in every case three Court should determine the true limits of its jurisdiction and having done so, it should take care to coming within the restraints of its jurisdiction

'WHERE the Court embarks upon affirmative action in the attempt to remedy a. constitutional imbalance within the social order, few critics will find fault with it so long as it confines itself to the scope of its legitimate authority. Bit there is always the possibility. in public interest .mitigation of succumbing to the temptation of crossing into territory which properly pertains to the Legislature or to the executive Government. For in most cases the jurisdiction of the Court is invoked when a default scours in executive administration, and sometimes where a void in community life remains unfilled by legislative action. The resulting public grievance finds expression through social action groups, which consider the Court an appropriate forum for removing the deficiencies. Indeed, the citizen seems to find it more convenient to apply to the Court for the vindication of constitutional lights than appeal to the executive or legislative organs of the State. In the process of correcting executive error or removing legislative omission the Court can so easily find itself involved in policy making of a quality and to a degree characteristic of political authority, end indeed run the risk of being mistaken for one. An excessively political role identifiable with political governance betrays the Court into functions alien to its fundamental character and tends to destroy the delicate balance envisaged in our constitutional system between its three basic institutions. The Judge, conceived in the true classical mould, is an impartial arbiter, beyond and above political bias and prejudice, functioning silently in accordance with the Constitution and Ins judicial conscience. Thus does he maintain the legitimacy of the institution he serves and honour the trust which his office has reposed in him.'

(42) The point to be noted in relation to the case of Bandhua Mukti Morcha (supra) where the Supreme Court appointed Commissioners for investigation is that the Commissioners were not appointed for investigating into the offences committed under Sections 16, 17 or 18 of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.

(43) ' Thus, these are broad outline-, or guidance and limitation Am excessive role for any cause may break the delicate balance. The Court should not have an attitude that they alone are protectors of fundamental rights of citizens and a democratically elected government have no such feeling or inclination Initial attitude of Courts vis-a-vis executive organ of a State should not be of suspicion in this behalf. Of course, if the Court after inquiring and due scrutiny finds the State not performing its duty, the Court can and should step in to protect and enforce fundamental rights to the extent it can give relief. The attitude ought to be of trust and not always of confrontation. The people elect their representatives in democratic form of government. It is the duty of those elected representatives to safeguard the interest of the citizens they represent and satisfy the democratic values of the people they represent. It is primanly the duty of the Executive part of the State to safeguard the rights whether fundamental or otherwise of their citizens. It is only when Executive fails in protecting this right that a citizen can approach for enforcement of his fundamental rights through courts. But, basically the duty remains of the Executive to see to it that the fundamental rights of the citizens are not infringed. But the condition which. must be fulfillled before public interest litigation is entertained by superior court is that the Courts should be in a position to give effective and complete relief. If no effective or complete relief can be granted, the court should not entertain public Interest litigation.

(44) We have-already noticed the prayers made in this writ petition and need not be repeated. The necessary' averments pleaded in the writ petition are contained in paras 5 and 6 of the writ petition, which are reproduced for facility of reference.

'5.That the facts leading to this writ petition are':-

(A)on 31st October, 1984. the then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi was assassinated at 10 a.m. with at least 14-bullet injuries she was rushed to hospital.

(B)That on arrival at the hospital she was dead. The news of her death was announced at 5 or 6 p.m. evening news and it was announced that two Sikhs had assassinated her.

(C)That the same day, according to the papers, police was ordered to do heavy patrolling and the army was alerted the chronology of events as reported in the papers are given in Annexure Iii of Petitioner's Report (page 36).

(D)That from the right of October 31st to Saturday evening of November 3, 1^4 the police stood by and on several occasions actively encouraged the looting, arson and murder. Newspaper reporters themselves gave eye witness accounts of this. One statement forms part of the Annexure Iv of the Petitioner Organization Report. Further, reports of police in action have been part of the daily reporting some of those reports are annexed hereto and marked as Annexure B Colly, one of these includes a report by Mr. K. P. Rustorgi, member .Police Commission and erstwhile Director General of B.S.F.

(E)THAT the accounts of the survivors affidavit and some recorded by volunteers doing relief work -show that the police helped instigate tie riots by spreading rumours. Then they actually helped the rioters.. arsonists and murderers In fact the recorded statements and affidavits clearly implicate the police (Page No. .......) Further, at the head of the mob, taking active part. in the carnage were members of the Congress-1. (Page No. ........) A list of the culprits is given in Annexure Iv of the Petitioner Organisations report. In addition the petitioners are annexing eight statements of' the survivors along with ten affidavits of Services which name the -culprits. The petitioners can furnish more details of the culprits when the need arises. The Statements and affidavit are annexed hereto and marked as Annexure C (Colly).

(F)THATon or around November 3. 1984.. the troops were called in aid of civil power. Yearly 50,000 people were evacuated from the bastes to various relief camps. Most of the people found shelter at Gurdwaras which were not given recognition and so nearly 20,000 people were being deprived of compensation or relief.

(G)THAT there were reports of some arrests. but these were followed by reports of how the culprits-were being released by various Members of Parliament and Councillors. The interference by politicians led to the release ''it several hundred of the culprits and no investigation is being carried out. Accounts of the involvement of the Ruling party are well recorded in papers and magazines. Some relevant newspapers clippings are annexed hereto and marked as Annex me D.

(H)Further, the survivors are being pressurized not to give the identity of the Criminals and to withdraw their complaints. This is clear from the Affidavits of Prof. Ashish Nandy, Professor of Psychology and the affidavit of one vidow. Page No..........). Both these Affidavits arc annexed hereto and marked as annexure E.

(I)That there has been no public enquiry ordered by the Respondents except for the inquiry to be conducted by Mr. Ved Marwah but it is not a public inquiry and it does not cover the part played by an eyewash unless the inquiry is made public. Further, an internal inquiry made by the Respondents makes a mockery of the process of justice.

(J)That the Police is minimising the offences and filing charge sheets mostly under bailable offences 'as a result the culprits even if arrested get released on bail.

That the above facts show that the Respondents are clearly answerable to the public and if no objective enquiry is made the feeling of unrest and in security would, grow. It is to help protect the rights of the survivors under Article 21, 22 and Article 14 that the Petitioners are filing this petition.'

(45) It will be noticed that the petitioners want protection of rights of survivors of th& victims of riots under Articles 21, 22 and 14 of-the Constitution.

(46) With all dire respect to the vehement submission made by Mr. Mukhoty on behalf of the petitioners, it will be noticed that no violation of fundamental rights arising out of Articles 14 or 21 of the Constitution or the rights arising out of any other statute are involved for which effective relief can be given by a Court. Article 22 of the Constitution does not even come into play.

(47) It was held by the Supreme Court in the case of Sant Ram Air 19 Supreme. Court 932 that,

'THE right of livelihood does not tall within the meaning of word Life' in Article 21 of the Constitution.'

In fact, the respondents in the reply have very fairly admitted the unfortunate tragedy of riots in Delhi for five days. The fact that murder, arson and looting took place on very extensive sea's is not even doubted by learned Attorney-General. The learned Attorney-General even conceded negligence or inactive or collusion on the part of some police , officers and submitted that it was this very reason that a very senior _ Ips Officer next to the Commissioner of Police has been-appointed with the aforesaid terms of 'reference which have been noticed earlier and also submitted that a Special Investigation Cell has been created for dealing with the complicated cases besides investigation by most of the police stations which are involved. The case of the respondents in the affidavit is that they are doing their duty of not only registration of various incidents which have been reported or which have been registered bat also .seriously investigating them and they are performing their statutory 'duties bone fide to the best of their ability in the circumstances of the case and the State n not shirking from its responsibility but is trying to do its best to investigate the cases. It will be noticed from the observations of Bhagwati. J. in Baadhua Mukti Morcha case (supra) that the appointment of Commissioners was justice to enquire into the very existence of the fact in issue in that case. In the present case the extensive riots resulting in death, looting and arson are conceded when. it was pointed out during the hearing that as many as 2146 died only in Delhi apart from crores of rupees worth of property being looted, burnt or damaged. Negligence of some of the police officers alleged in the writ petition has also been conceded. Even the officers named in the writ petition have been suspended and are facing departmental enquiry and investigation mto any crime committed by them.

(48) We have already on record the Joint Report of both the petitioner The report prepared by both the petitioners in so far as it deals with the factual aspect is itself an investigation in only three areas of riots and is a valuable contribution. It has named certain important people in public life as being responsible for instigating the riots.

(49) The Author of the reports have. however, nut disclosed the identity of individual member of the Team who had interviewed victims of riots of police officers or neighbours of victims. Nor it is disclosed how individuals who constituted team of investigators like Journalists, Teachers and other public spirited person performed their mission.

(50) Investigative journalism has also come in this country and is a new branch of journalism requiring very dedicated, unbiased and skilful investigation. There are many great investigative journalists who have done a commendable job in the recent past. Bhagalpur blinding case is a very recent example of the thorough work done by the 'investigative journalists'.

(51) Investigation into crimes of the scale involved here is so enormous and so highly complicated that it is specialised job requiring tot of experience, necessary equipments to canny on cross checking and investigative implements. The possibility of 'journalistic stories' and journalist ''whisper' being planted cannot also be ruled out. We have, however, real pity for third laudable efforts with all these handicaps.

(52) However, nothing can be said about the veracity of the report one way or the other. We have already noticed earlier that in relation to grievances of the survivors of the riots, cases have been registered, some of the offenders have been picked up and the investigations are progressing in all those case's.

(53) Thus, we have before us not only the Joint Report of the petitioners but also the investigations being conducted by the Special Investigation Cell headed by Mr. Marwaha of the rank of DIG. We also have individual investigation being conducted in hundred of cases which have been registered of which details have been given in the reply affidavit filed after the admission of the writ petition. It will cause unlimited confusion, if any set of Commissioners are appointed by the special Investigation Cell in the same field. The persons against whom the enquiry sought by appointment of various commissions by this Court are not even parties before us.

(54) There is no basis at this stage to assume that the Central Government or the Delhi Administration are not alive to the grave situation or their statutory obligation nor of their failure to discharge them properly in the circumstances of the case. The appointment of Commission by the Court could only be on the basis that there has been no proper investigation.

(55) There is well defined hierarchical administrative set up of' the Police in Delhi -and to create a new channel of enquiry or the investigation is likely to create an impression that everything is not well with the statutory agency and it is likely to cause permanent stigma on the entire police hierarchy. Enquiry and investigation into serious cases of crime or the rioting involved in the present case require a single minded thorough and complete investigation by one body. 1: a parallel investigation is started by this Court by appointing a Commissioner to investigate them, looking at the magnitude 'of riot alone. It is humanly impossible. The Court with all its ability, particularly Delhi High Court cannot assume this function when the cases have ultimately to be tried by their subordinate District and Sessions Judges which will be subject to the supervisory and appellate jurisdiction of the High Court. It will gravely prejudice the investigation and the trial of the person who may ultimately he involved. If High Court embarks upon the investigation, one has to only imagine the embarrassment. The Courts of Magistrates and the Sessions Judges who will ultimately try the cases will be under unknown and an indefinite psychological pressure in dealing with those cases. One requires special agency for doing the investigation of the scale required in the case of riots. Surely, this Court is not the proper . forum for it. There may be some delay in registration of some cases but it is obvious from the various statements filed by the respondents, particularly. Annexure R-2(A) and (B) that hundred of cases have been registered, thousand of people have been arrested, security proceedings have been taken against hundreds of people. Surely, the High Court was never intended to prejudice the cause of justice and abort serious attempt be made to find out the truth.

(56) Another aspect to be considered in this behalf is. is it open to a Court to interfere with the investigation which is still going on. The investigation is a waiter for the' police under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(57) J. I. Kapur, J. in the case of State of West Bengal Vs S. N. Basak, : [1963]2SCR52 observed as under :--

'SECTION 154 deals with information in cognizable offences and S. 156 with investigation into such offences and under these sections the police has the statutory' right to investigate into the circumstances of any alleged cognizable offence without authority from a Magistrate and this statutory power of the police to investigate cannot be interfered with by the exercise of power under S. 439 or under the inherent power of the Court under S. 561A, when there was no case pending at the time excepting that the person against whom the investigation has started had appeared before the court) had surrendered and had been admitted to bail.'

The Court must realise that under the scheme of the Code, the work of investigation has been entrusted to police and nobody else. It is not even subject to the normal supervisory power of the Court.

(58) Recently, Calcutta High Court appointed a Dig, Cbi, as special officer for conducting investigation into the death of two young persons on the allegations that the State Government was not doing their duties and 'were treating the case of murder as case of suicide. State of West Bengal came. up in appeal to the Supreme Court and it will be advantageous to refer to the observations of Ranganath Mishra, J. in the case reported as State of West Bengal and others v. Sampat Lal and others : 1985CriLJ516 (5). This case also arose out of the exercise of jurisdiction by the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution in relation to 'Public interest litigation'. The observations are as under :-

''INQUIRY'and 'invesigation are statutory' terms defined in the Code. We were told in the course of hearing by counsel for the parties that under the West Bengal Police Manual the terms have different meanings given to them. It is not necessary to' our purpose to go into the question any further. By whatever name the work entrusted to the special officer be called, there can be no dispute that he was required to ascertain facts from the witnesses and documents, if any, in regard to the death of the two boys. This process necessarily involved a fact-finding inquiry by ordinarily tapping the same sources as the investigating agency was expected to contact. This, thereforee, necessarily involved a duplicate investigation... ........... The next aspect to be considered is whether it is open to the Court to interfere win the investigation which is still proceeding. It has been conceded before us and rightly, in our view, that investigation is a matter for the police under the scheme of the Cods. Judicial opinion seems to be settled and we have several authorities of this Court where interference by the Court into police investigation has not been appioved........................... The functions of the judiciary and the police are complementary, not overlapping, and the combination of individual liberty with a due observance of law and order is only to be obtained by leaving each to exercise its own function, always, of course, subject to the right of the court to intervene in an appropriate case when moved under Section 491 of the Criminal Procedure Code to give directions in the nature of habeas corpus. In such a case as the present, however, the Court's functions begin when a charge is preferred before it, and not until then. It has sometimes been thought that Section 561-A (now sections 482) has given increased powers to the Court which it did not possess before that section was enacted. But this is not so, the section gives no new powers, it only provides that those which the court already inherently possesses shall be preserved and is inserted, as their Lordships think; lest it should be considered that the only powers possessed by the Court are those expressly conferred by the Criminal Procedure Code and that no inherent power had survived the passing of that Act. The Court added : With this interpretation, which has been put on the statutory duties and powers of the police and of the powers of the court, we are in accord...... ..... The investigation in the present case is still pending as wewer3 told at the Bar. It is quite likely that some day, and we hope and trust that there would be no further delay, the court of competent jurisdiction would be in seism of the matter and would be called upon to decide whether ft was a case of murder or suicide. We have, thereforee, thought it proper exercise of discretion not to enter into the facts and express any opinion one way or the other so as to prejudice the trial that might take place. It is sufficient to indicate that there is residuary jurisdiction left in the Court to give directions to the investigating agency when it is satisfied that the requirements of the law are not being complied with and investigation is not being conducted properly or with due haste and promptitude. The Court has to be alive to the fact that the scheme of the law is that the investigation has been entrusted to the police and it is ordinarily not. subject to the normal supervisory power of the Court. We are inclined, on the facts of the case as placed before us, to take the view that the materials placed before the Court did not justify an exception to be made to the rule indicated by this Court and the appointment of a special officer was not called for at this stage.'

Further observations of the Supreme Court in this behalf may be seen with advantage in paras 23 and 24 of the judgment which are very apt observations for the purposes of dealing the present case '

(59) The riots for three days were on a scale which reminds one of the riots in the wake of partition of the country in 1947. The killings were mostly in far flung colonies. There are more than 100 police stations and police posts in Delhi. Strength of police force in many police stations vary from 40 to 60 and may be in some police stations, there are 100. But that does not give the police strength available in the police stations at that particular time. This very strength of police force is divided in police posts also. No body could have anticipated rioting on such scale and to make arrangement for it.

(60) There is no dispute about large scale and barbaric attacks on innocent men, women and children, stark failure of law and order machinery. There were rumours and suspicion of collusion of some policemen with criminals in some places and that some influential persons abetted or instigated these incidents. It is also no secret that common people helped and saved their neighbours and madness was put to a stop within a short time. Thousands of victims of riots even took shelter in police stations where Relief camps were organized. This is clear from Annexure V to the Report filed by the petitioners themselves at page 52 which gives list of' some Relief centres recognized by the Delhi Administration. It is mentioned in this very report that in the Police Stations Farsh Bazar, Gandhi Nagar, Subzi Mandi. Sadar Bazar alone hundreds of people took shelter. If the entire carnage had been ignored by the Administration, surely, the victims would not have taken shelters in the police stations themselves.

(61) An inquiry by this Court by appointing Commissioner will not reveal more. No new facts will be unearthed but the inquiry will be exploited by communalist of all groups 'to project themselves as spokesman for one community. There will be the charges, counter charges real or imaginary. Any enquiry by the Court will not alleviate the feelings of riots stricken people but would rather exacerbate them. Fortunately, the situation has come back fast to normal and continuous to be normal. Any such attempt by the Court to start enquiry into riots will endanger all sections of the communities in Delhi. However, if the State machinery which is now geared up. and is stated to be investigating the cases and even if some criminals are punished by collecting of available evidence, it will have salutary effect on the confidence which has suffered most. The attempt should be to create sense of security and not provoking mass frenzy. The attempt should be to restore confidence.

(62) The refusal by the Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry is a political decision. The Courts should never be resorted to for political games by one party or the other. People have great faith and trust in the justice which is administered in the institutions known as 'Courts'. Even a person when he is sent to the gallowes, the society accepts and respects verdict of the Court. If the court start entering into the political arena directly or indirectly, expressly or impliedly, they will cause -serious damage to the institution of judiciary.

(63) The rioting in Delhi cannot be completely divorced from the happening in the country in the recent past. The problem is not merely of a State but the problem is of whole country. The Government is duty bound to run a secular democracy. Secularism is not one way traffic. It is not merely the duty of the majority to look after the minority but it is equally the duty of minorities to join the national main stream and not isolate themselves. It is equally a duty of the minorities not to hurt the feeling of the majority either in any place in any part of the country.

(64) In 'Public interest litigation', the Courts are by and large meant for enforcement of fundamental rights by giving effective relief. No effective relief can be given in terms of prayer (a).

(65) Relief (b)With regard to relief (b) noticed earlier, it is pertinent to mention that the Court cannot direct Cbi or the Crime Branch to investigate into the roll of the Police and politicians. We have already noticed the,averments in the affidavit which was filed on 19th December, 1984, by Delhi Administration and the detailed statements with regard to registration of cases. In the affidavit which was filed on 12th February, 1985, we also noticed that 390 cases have been registered and another 22 cases were registered after 7th December, 1984 and the details show that right from 1st November, 1984, practically most of the cases were registered and various persons were arrested in pursuance of the First Information Reports. It cannot be said that the police was waiting for the filing of writ petition and it was only thereafter they registered F.I.Rs. A number of FIRs were registered at least more than a fortnight before the filing of the present writpetition. No instance has been substantiated before the court to show any person who went to the Police station but his case was not registered. It has also not been pointed out as to how and in what manner the investigation is not being done in proper manner. On the other hand, we have noticed from the affidavit of the Commissioner of Police filed on 12th February, 1985 at page 242 of the Paper book that he has made statement that Shri V. P. Marwaha, Additional Commissioner of Police (CID) who is heading Special Investigation Cell, during the course of investigation in 50 cases has examined more than 1474 persons to identify criminals. Over 600 complaints from the public were received which are being examined. The Government has set up a Special Investigating Cell for investigating complicated cases and various cases were transferred from various police stations to the Special Investigation Cell.

(66) The scope of the said enquiry is wider in the sense that during the course of inquiry if it is found that a police officer had been negligent in registering or investigating a particular case, certainly on the basis of the said report, the Special investigating Cell constituted under the orders of the Commissioner of Police will take cognizance of the offence. As far as the politicians are concerned, if any one is found to be involved, action is bound to be taken and we are sure, the Administration will not fail in restoring the confidence of the public.

(67) Reliefs (c), (d) and(e) Coming to the reliefs (c), (d) and (e), they do not depend upon the appointment of any Commission and, thereforee, the decision of the Supreme Court in Bandhua Mukti Morcha case (supra) is not relevant.

(68) In relief (c), the petitioners want order or direction to the Executive Magistrates to take security for keeping peace in the areas from the people named by the, survivors and the report of the Delhi University teachers. The relief is confined to the taking of security from the persons who have been named in the police reports. No allegation has been made in the petition that the complaint was made to the police in regard to those persons and no case has been registered against them. No such order can be passed in the absence of the persons who-have been named in the report. To take security for keeping peace from various persons under Sections 107 to 110 of the Code or not to take such security is within the domain of the Executive Magistrate under Delhi Police Act. In-the absence of any averments that any complaint was made and the Executive Magistrate failed to take action, no such relief can be granted.

(69) The relief (d) prayed for is again mis-conceived. No such identification parade can be carried out as prayed for. Again this is not the fundamental right or any other right of the petitioners or the survivors to get identification parade of the people. Again it is not fundamental right of the petitioners or the victims of the riots to get a direction to Executive Magistrate to take security. The accused have been named in the reports relied upon. No identification parade is ordered when the suspect is named. Identification parades are ordered during investigation when the identity is not known and witnesses to the crime for the first time identify them.

(70) There is again no right of the petitioners for getting a direction of debarring various persons from going to the areas for a period of six months. No relief can be granted which may prejudice other persons from exercising their fundamental rights.

(71) The relief sought for in clause (e) would prevent various persons from exercising their fundamental rights in this behalf.

(72) On our request that the respondents may indicate the relief measures which they had taken to rehabilitate the victims of recent riots, the respondents filed .an affidavit of Shri R. S. sethi, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Delhi referred to earlier which shows that as many as 10 relief camps were set up by the Administration in various parts of Delhi where approximately 25,000 people were accommodated. Following restoration of normalcy, there was heavy exodus of people from the camps and on the date of filing of affidavit, 700 persons were left at one camp in Farsh Bazar and 45 in Laxmi Nagar.

(73) It was also stated that the Administration has provided all necessary facilities, such as food, rice, milk, bread, drinking water, medical care, blankets, sanitary and hygienic cover at all the camps, that in this .task the Administration was helped by a large number of voluntary agencies including Indian Red Cross Society; that amongst the various relief measures, it was stated that the Government of India has announced a number of relief measures for the benefit of the affected persons on 6th November, 1984 which included the following :-

(I)In the case of those who died, the next-of kin shall b& given Rs. 10,0-00 for each person dead in the family. Every injured person shall be given Rs. 2,000.

(II)In the case of total destruction of house, a grant of Rs. 10,000.

(III)In the case of substantially damaged house, a grant of Rs. 5,000.

(IV)In the case of minor damage to the house Rs. 1,000

(74) It was also pointed out that the problems of imparting guidance and training and sorting out problems in the matter of filing up of application forms for relief were personally handled by both the Relief commissionerand the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi. It was pointed out that as on date the Deputy Commissioner has verified as many as 19871 forms for gratuitous relief. Out of this a number of 9644 have been accepted while remaining 10227 have been found unsubstantiated, that a total amount of gratuitous relief disbursed so far' is Rs. 4-112 crores; that some claims are still being received from places even outside Delhi and these are being enquired into and due compensation would be paid in all eligible cases after due varification. It is also pointed out that the Government decided to sanction loans to persons whose business had been affected on account of the disturbance; that the Nationalised banks have advanced loans to the riot affected persons for a variety of purposes such as recommencement of retail business, damage to motor vehicles, tracks etc. which were source of livelihood; that the Banks have so far sanctioned an amount-of Rs. 28.20 crores in 6840 case and have actually disbursed so lar Rs. 15.5 crores; that the Banks scrutinised a total of 11605 applications; that the loans have been advanced at a concessional rate of interest and certain other concessions such as moratorium .on repayment etc. have also been given. It was also mentioned that the Government had also decided to allot slum flats to widows whose husbands were killed in recent disturbances and who were originally residing in jhuggis or as tenants at the time of disturbances; that although ' the scheme was that the slum flats would be allotted on initial payment of Rs. 3,000 and balance payment of amount of around Rs. 28,000 in Installments spread over 15 years, but considering the financial hardship being faced by the widows, only an initial deposit of Rs. 1,000 has been taken before making the allotments of slum flats; that as on date 94 widows who were earner residing in Jhuggis or as tenant have been allotted shim flats and further allotments are in progress; that in respect of widows owing their own properties, it was decided to offer slum flats on exchange basis and as on date 114 widows have availed of this offer and have been allotted slum flats in lieu of their properties after proper valuation; that as on date 7 applications for allot' ment are pending.

(75) It has also been stated in this affidavit that the Deputy Commissioner was deputed by the Government to visit Alwar in Rajasthan and various places in Punjab where Sikhs had temporarily migrated from Delhi. In the affidavit a list of number of measures which had been initiated by Directorate of Social Welfare to rehabilitate widows and children is given, which are as under :-

(A)A number of industrial firms have offered jobs to widows. The Directorate of Social Welfare have 90 far received 165 appointments offers. This covers a number of widows of Sultanpuri, Kalyanpuri and Trilokpuri. A number of widows have started going to work.

(B)The Directorate of Social Welfare has identified and is advancing money through sponsorship @ Rs. 50 p.m. both for educating and up bringing through the Delhi Council of Child Welfare to . 1129 children covering 511 families.

(C)Old age pension is being provided @ Rs. 60 p.m. to 20 beneficiaries.

Training-cum-Production Centres were opened at the camps and Gurdwaras.

(E)Anganwaris were also started at the camps and Gurdwaras. The other Important measures stated in the affidavit are to provide help to riot affected families for reconstruction purposes. These are as under :--

(A)A free legal aid cell has been opened at the Tis Hazari Courts for the benefit of persons who would like to avail of legal assistance in a number of specified matters.

(B)The Sales Tax Department had permitted riot affected assesseds to file the quarterly return for the quarter ending 30th September, 1984 by 31st December, 1984. Also, the Department is considering providing exemption from -production of declaration forms against which tax free sales are made for those whose records were destroyed in the disturbances.

(C)The Directorate of Education formally offered to the affected Institutions furniture and 'tentage. It has also been decided to provide free replacement of destroyed/damaged text books. The Directorate has also permitted transfer of teachers in certain hard cases.

(D)Delhi Development Authority took-up the task of repairing 106 Gurdwaras and 10 Schools. Dda also carried out lifting of around 600 damaged vehicles from the roads of Delhi.

(E)The Directorate of Industries has disposed of a number of applications for loans, recommendations for equipment import etc. within the quickest possible time. It has also helped 58 units in obtaining 2500 bags of cement on a priority basis. Further, at the instance of* Industries Department 260 industrial units have been reenergised at DESUs cost.

(F)A number of three-wheeler auto-rickshaws, taxis, scooters and private cars were severally damaged during disturbances. The Directorate of Transport has taken 'up with the manufacturers, local dealers of three wheeler, auto, the question of their replacement on priority basis.

(G)A Norad (Norweigian Agency for International Development) assisted scheme for four readymade garments centies comprising 50 women each has been sanctioned by 'the National Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs. Vocational training for six months and assured marketing through industrialists thereafter will be provided under this scheme. In addition, three other Norad (Norweigian Agency for International Developments) schemes for Zip Fastners, Detergent powder and ready-made garments to absorb 150 women are being processed and are expected to be cleared shortly.

(H)The War Widows Association, Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust and Mahila Mandal have also .submitted proposals for training centres for widows. Their scheme will employ another 75 women. Grant in aid is being advanced to them to run these schemes by the Central Social Welfare Board. The affected areas have been adopted by voluntary organizations which are making efforts of their own also, to rehabilitate the women psychologically and financially.

(I)In' all these jobs that have been arranged for widows through the firms, training-cum-production centres or Norad (Norweigian Agency for International Developments) Schemes, a stipend of Rs. 200-250 during training and at least minimum wages thereafter has been assured.

(J)In addition to this, the widows are being given help through the Delhi Council for Child Welfare Sponsorship Schemes. The Delhi Council for Child Welfare has relaxed sponsorship schemes rules to advance Rs. 50 p.m. to 1129 children selected from among 511 families that have lost their bread winners.'

(76) We are happy to note about the relief measures which the Government has been able to organize and we hope that all possible efforts will be made to assuage the heart feelings and help the sufferers to overcome the traumatic experience through which they have gone and taken proper relief measures and do not spare any effort to punish the guilty.

(77) In relation to the application which was filed on behalf of the Union of India for discharge of the Rule, we do not find any case being made out for discharge of Rule. The petitioners had not suppressed anything which may call for recall of the order whereby the writ petition was admitted, However, in para 7 of the application, it was inter-alia mentioned that the issue involved in the present case related to Security of the State and integrity of this country. It would not be in the National interest to disclose the steps which the Government proposes to take in this matter.

(78) The question of National security is one of evidence. The decision on whether the requirements of national security outweigh the duty of fairness in any particular case is for the Government and not for the courts; the Government alone has access to the necessary Information and in any event the judicial process is unsuitable for reaching decisions on national security. But, if the decision is, challenged, on the pound that it has been reached by a process which is unfair, then the Government is under an obligation to produce evidence that the decision was, in fact, based on grounds of National security. Authority for both these points is found in The Zamora (1916) 2 A. C. 77 PC The former point is dealt with in the well known passage from the advice of the Judicial Committee delivered by Lord Parker of Waddington at page 107 :-

'THOSE who are responsible for the national security must be the sole judges of what the national security requires. It would be obviously undesirable that such matters should be made the subject of evidence in a court of law or otherwise' discussed in public.'

However, we did not think it right that it was a case of revoking of the Rule; no formal notice was given of the application to learned counsel for the petitioners and, thereforee, the petitioners had no opportunity to dispute this averment in para 7 of the application. The true significance of Lord Parkcr's dictum is simply this :--

'THAT the court is in no position to substitute its opinion for the opinion of those responsible for national security.'

But we need not go into this aspect of national security as we are not deciding this case on that basis.

(79) We may now come to the last submission of Mr. Mukhoty which is not contained in the writ petition at all. By this submission, learned counsel for the petitioners wants a writ of mandamus being issued against the appropriate Government for appointing a Commission of Enquiry as provided in section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. This relief the learned counsel wanted to spell out from relief (a) noticed earlier. However, no such prayer can be spelt out from the reliefs prayed in the writ petition. But the learned counsel for the petitioners insisted on this submission and in sheer deference to it and in view of the importance of the question, we would like to deal with this submisison.

(80) Relevant part of section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 reads as under :-

'3.Appointment of Commissions- (1) The appropriate Government may, if it is of opinion that it is necessary so to do and shall, if a resolution in this behalf is passed by the House of the People or, as the case may, be, the legislative Assembly of the State, by Notification in the Official Gazettee, appoint a Commission of Inquiry for the purpose of making an inquiry into any definite matter of public importance and performing such functions and within such time as may be specified in the Notification, and the Commission so appointed shall make the inquiry and perform the functions accordingly: Provided that where any such Commission has been appointed to inquire into any matter-

(A)by the Central Government; no State Government shall, except with the approval of the Central Government, appoint another Commission to inquire into the same matter for so long as the Commission appointed by the Central Government is functioning;

(B)by a State Government, the Central Government shall not appoint another Commission to inquire into the same matter for so long as the Commision appointed by the State Government is functioning, unless the Central Government is of opinion that the scope of the inquiry' should be extended to two or more States.'

(81) The object of appointing the Commission of Inquiry is to enable the Government to make up its mind as to what legislative or administrative measures should be adopted to eradicate the evils found or to implement the beneficial objects it has in view. In other words, the Commission of Inquiry is only a fact finding body for the benefit of the Government when there is a definite matter of public importance. A Commission of Enquiry is to be appointed) if it is necessary in the opinion of the appropriate Government to do so.

(82) An analysis of sub-section (1) shows that there is an obligation on the appropriate Government, if a resolution in this behalf is passed by the House of the People or as the case may be, the Legislative Assembly of the State, to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. But there is a discretion for the appropriate Government,

'IF it is of opinion that it is necessary so to do for the purpose of making an inquiry into any definite matter of public importanace'.

(83) The opinion has to be of the appropriate Government and the opinion has to be that it is necessary to appoint an Inquiry Commission. This opinion cannot be of anybody else.

(84) Mr. Mukhoty, however, submitted that the language used in the opening part of the section when it confers a discretion on the Government to appoint an Inquiry Commission is in the nature of the duty cast on it and if it fails to discharge duty, the Court can by mandamus compel it to perform statutory duty for appointing an Inquiry Commission. We are afraid, no such interpretation can be given to the expression used in Section 3(1) of the Act. For one this 'section uses expression 'May' when the appropriate Government has to form an opinion for appointment of a Commission of Inquiry. This section uses expression 'shall' when resolution in this behalf is passed by a House of People or the Legislative Assembly. It is cardinal principle of interpretation of statute that where same section uses two expressions, they have different meaning and the word 'may' cannot be equated with word 'shall' used in Section 3(1) of the Act.

(85) Where the discretion is with' the appropriate Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry, it is not under a legal or statutory obligation to appoint a Commission of Inquiry even on definite matter of public importance except in the case mentioned in the section. It will be noticed that the distinction between the meaning of the word 'may' and 'shall' is in accord of the purposes of the Commission so appointed. The Commission is merely to investigate record its findings and makes its recommendations which are not enforceable proprio vigore. The Inquiry or report cannot be looked upon as judicial inquiry in the sense of its being an exercise of judicial function properly so called. [See: Shri Ram Krishna Dalmia v. Shri Justice S. R. Tendolkar & others, 1959 (6) Scr 279

(86) I, thereforee, hold that the petitioners have no legal or statutory right to compel the Government to appoint Commission of Inquiry even when there is a definite matter of public importance. This question is, in fact, covered by a decision of the Division Bench of our Court reported as 2nd (1974) 1 Del 847 Bhagwat Dayal Sharma v. The Union of India and others; wherein Chief Justice S. N. Andley and S. N. Shankar, J. observed as under :-

'THAT the appropriate Government is under a statutory obligation to appoint a Commission of Inquiry in a case where a resolution in that behalf is -passed by the House of the People or, as the case may be, by the Legislative Assembly of the State and the appropriate Government .has, in such a case, no option or discretion in the matter. In the absence of such a resolution, the power to appoint a Commission is, however, optional and discretionary, even if there is any definite matter of public importance. A Commission may be appointed by the appropriate Government if it is of the opinion that it is necessary so to do. This opinion is, by the words, even if there is any definite matter of public importance, the appropriate Government may not appoint a Commission of Inquiry if it is of opinion that it is not necessary so to do that in enquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act is not a judicial inquiry and the object of constituting a Commission of Inquiry under the Act is to enable the Government to make up its mind as to what legislative or administrative measures should be adopted to eradicate the evil found or implement the beneficial objects it has inview. .It is merely a fact finding body for the benefit of the Government and that is why even where there may be a definite matter of public importance, a Commission of Inquiry is appointed under the said Act only if it is necessary, in the opinion of the appropriate Government, to do so. Except in the case of a resolution of Parliament or the legislature of a State in that behalf, there is no statutory or other obligation upon the appropriate Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry' and, thereforee, on the words of Section 3 of the Act, there cannot be a legal or statutory obligation upon the appropriate Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry even if there is a definite matter of public importance. This conclusion by itself would displace the contention on behalf of the petitioner that he has a legal or statutory right to compel the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry whenever there is a definite matter of public importance : thereforee, that the petitioner, a member of the public, has clearly no right under the statute, namely, the Commissions of Enquiry Act and, thereforee, no locus standi to move a petition for a writ of mandamus for directing the Central Government to appoint a Commission of Enquiry.'

(87) I cannot improve upon this judgment. The same view was also taken by Rajasthan High Court (S. K. Mal I odha, J.) in the case reported as Vijay Mehta v. State of Rajasthan, and also by Bhaskaran and Balakrishna Menon, JJ. of Kerala High Court in the case reported as Rajendran v. Home Secretary, : AIR1983Ker59 .

(88) In the present case, apart from anything else, the petitioners never demanded from the appropriate Government the appointment of an Inquiry Commission either and, thereforee, they have no right to claim a writ of mandamus without any making such a demand. Petitioners have no locus standi whatsoever for demanding the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.

(89) Mr. Mukhoty, learned counsel brought to our notice various Commissions of Inquiry which have been appointed since the enactment of Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 and he submitted that those Commissions were appointed inspire of the fact that those matters were not of such great importance (definite matter of public importance) like the present case. This argument has only to be stated to be rejected; it is always in the political wisdom of the appropriate Government to appoint or not to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. The Court can neither advise nor interfere with such decisions.

(90) The solution of every problem is not by appointment of Commission of Inquiry. It has been observed by Malcolm Forbes.

'IT is so much easier to suggest solution when you don't know too much about the problem.'

We have been taught and we have, been hearing since our childhood (Mother and Mother Land are greater than heaven).

(91) The result is the petition fails. Since the petitioners took up the cause by way of public interest litigation, parties are left to bear their own costs. Kirpal, (J).-1 have had the benefit of reading the Judgment of my learned brother Yogeshwar Dayal, J. and I entirely agree with him that no relief can be granted to the petitioners in this case. Ordinarily there would have been no reason for my adding anything tc what my learned brother has said in great detail, but because some important issues have been raised in this case I have thought it fight to refer to some of them.

(92) Tragic events took place in Delhi between 31st October and 3rd November, 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the morning of 31st October, 1984 reportedly by two members of her own body-guard. Violence, arson, loot and murder was unleashed in the Union Territory of Delhi. The primary targets were those belonging to the .Sikh community. The sikhs, who have always protected their motherland whenever the occasion had arisen, had to seek protection themselves. Some of them had to leave the houses and take shelter is refugee camps or with. friends in the neighborhood and at other places. Houses of some of them were burnt after they had been looted. While the nation was in mourning over the tragic assassination of the Prime Minister the vultures of the society were making merry.

(93) Feeling that it may not be possible to except investigation and prosecution of the guilty being carried out by the police on its own volition and feeling that there was a need for an independent agency to investigate the crimes, the two public spirited bodies namely People Union for Democratic Rights (Petitioner No. 1) and People Union for Civil Rights (Petition No. 2) filed the present writ petition. By this petition attention was sought to be focussed on the alleged problem of the security of the lives of the sikh community and their property in Delhi and of the need to provide them with adequate protection against looters who . were stated to be roaming about freely. According to the petitioners two independent enquiries into the aforesaid events have been held: one report was published by the petitioners themselves and the second by the professors of the Delhi University. The said reports are annexed to the petition and they contained the result of the investigation which had been carried out by them.

(94) As stated in the petition the same has been filed in public interest. I his public interest litigation was initiated by the petitioners by the filing of the aforesaid petition on 26th of November, 1984. It is not necessary' for me to refer to the facts leading to the .hearing of the present petition as the same has been elaborately adverted to by my learned Brother.

(95) One of the questions which arose during the discussion before us was with respect to the nature and extent of Public interest litigation and the power of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

(96) As I understand the phrase 'Public Interest Litigation', it means nothing more than what it states, namely it is a litigation in the interest of the public. Public Interest Litigation is not that type of litigation which' is meant to satisfy the curiosity of the people, but it is a litigation which is instituted with a desire that the Court would be able to give effective relief to the whole or a section' of the society. In a changing society the courts, and the procedure adopted by the court cannot remain static in the interest of administration of justice some of the old and well established procedural rules and practices have been altered. Public interest litigation can now be. initiated not only by filing formal petitions in Court but even by writing letters and telegrams. Entertaining letters, telegrams and articles in newspapers as petitions by the High Court may have been unthinkable a decade ago but this procedure has come to stay incases involving public interest litigation.

(97) The power of the High Court while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution is very wide. Not only does the Court have power to issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari but it also has the power to issue appropriate directions or orders as and when the need arises. Whenever there is an infringement of the fundamental rights, recourse can be had to the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution. Similarly, the High Court may be aporoached on account of violation of any rule or order. The question which usually arises in public interest litigation is whether the action or the inaction of the State is vocative of any law and can effective relief be granted by the Court? Where no statutory provision is violated but the action or inaction of the State is arbitrary then, as has now been well settled by the Supreme Court, the said action or inaction would per se be vocative of Article 14 of the Constitution. thereforee, to put differently, whenever the conscience of the Court is shocked, on account of action or inaction on the part of the State, the Court ' will exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. .

(98) The contention of the petitioners is that the events which took place in Delhi between 31st October and 23rd November, 1934 are such as must shock the conscience of the Court and thereforee this Court, in public interest, must act and protect the rights of the victims from the action and/or inaction of the respondents.

(99) While it is true that the Court under Article 226 has very wide jurisdiction nevertheless, there has to be an exercise of judicial discretion on the part of the Court in deciding whether to exercise its discretion under. Article 226 of the Constitution in a case of public interest litigation. The greater the power with the Court the greater has to be the judicial discretion and restraint. Though the Courts has the power to give directions to the Executive, the Court, however, is ill-equipped to run the administration The power should thereforee be exercised by the Court only where effective relief can be granted to the people and which relief would not otherwise have granted but for the Court's intervention.

(100) Our attention was drawn to a number of cases before the Supreme Court involving public interest litigation. All those cases were where the Government had acted in violation of the rights of the people or had not acted when it should have. All that the Court did was to direct the State to implement the laws. It is the wrong action or the inaction of the Government which prompted the Court to issue directions. The Court, however, refrains from issuing any directions to the State where the State, on its own, implements the Law. [See State of West Bengal Versus Samput Lal : : 1985CriLJ516 ].

(101) It was strenuously contended by Shri Mokhoty the learned counsel for the petitioners, that this Court has jurisdiction to direct the Government to exercise its powers under section 3 of the Commissions of Enquiries Act to set up a Commission of Enquiry. It was submitted by the earned council that the events which took place between 31st October and 3rd November, 1984 were matters of great public importance and merited a judicial enquiry being held which would make known to the public as to the causes of the incidents and as to who all were responsible for the same and what steps should be taken so that such unfortunate incidents do not occur in future. In this context it was urged by the learned counsel that on a correct interpretation of Section 3 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act, the Court must hold that under the said provision the Government had power which was coupled with a duty to appoint a Commission whenever a definite matter of public importance arises. As far as this Court is concerned, the aforesaid question is no longer reintegrate More than a decade ago a Division Bench of this Court had decided in the case of Bhakwat Dayal Sharma versus Union of India & Ors. I.L.R. (1974) 1 847 that no writ or direction can be issued to the Government to exercise its powers under Section 3 of the said Act. We are in respectful agreement with .the reasons contained therein and the contention of Shri Mukhoty has thereforee to be rejected.

(102) It was then contended by Shri Mukhoty that even if it is not open to the Court to direct the Government to appoint a Commission under Section 3 of the Commissions of Enquiry Act nevertheless it is open to the Court to, itelf, appoint a Commissioner. Shri Mokhotyrelied upon Bandhua Mukti Morcha versus Union of India & Ors. : [1984]2SCR67 in support cf the proposition that the Court has the power, and the Jurisdiction, to appoint a Commissioner to make such enquiries as the Court may direct.

(103) In view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Bandhua Mukti Morcha case (supra) it cannot now be disputed that the Court has the jurisdiction to an point such a Commissioner even though it has no power to direct the Government to a Commission of the Enquiry under Section 3 of the said Act. The question however, still arises as to .for what purposes can the. Court appoint a Commissioner.

(104) My understanding of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Bandhua Mukti Mcrcha case (supra) is that a Commissioner is appointed either for ascertaining facts or turn seeing that the directions which may be issued by the Court are carried out by the parties to whom directions are issued. The Commissioner, is however, appointed to ascertain facts only if, on the basis of the knowledge so acquired, the Court can give effective relief in the case. If no relief can or is to be granted, the Court could end should, to my mind, refrain from appointing a Commissioner only for the purposes of satisfying its own curiosity.

(105) The petitioners themselves have annexed two reporte. One report is prepared by the petitioners and the second report is by a group of Delhi University Professors. The perusal of the said reports show that the authors have taken considerable trouble and must have spent a lot of time and effort in collecting the data and in compiling the reports. If the Court was to appoint a Commissioner then he would have to go through a similar exercise. On the receipt of a report by it the question would still arise as to whether any effective relief can be granted in the case.

(106) In this connection the reliefs prayed for in the writ petition may be examined. The first relief prayed for is for appointing a Commission of Enquiry to carry out investigation and the second relief is to for directing Cbi or some other Crime Branch to investigate into the role of the police and the politicians. These two prayers to my mind do not deal with giving any effective relief to the persons adversely affected by the riots. Theses-two reliefs are more in the nature of asking the Court to ascertain for itself facts with regard to the alleged role of the police and the politicians during the said carnage. The consequential direction which the petitioners want the Court to issue to the respondents, on the basis of the information so gathered by it. is contained in the latter part of the prayer clause. The petitioners want direction to issue to the Executive Magistrates to take security for keeping peace from the people named by the survivors in the said report of the petitioners and the report of the Delhi University teachers and in the statements and affidavits of the survivors; a further direction is sought that there should be an identification of the people named by the survivors; and the last. direction which is sought is that the people so identified should be debarred from going to those areas for at least six months so that. an atmosphere of security and trust is created. It is clear thereforee, that notwithstanding the detailed reports about the unfortunate incidents which have been prepared by the petitioners, and the group of professors of the Delhi University, the only consequential relief which the-petitioner desire from the Court pertains to giving such directions so that peace is maintained arid security ensured in the areas where the carnage took place. As this is the only effective consequential relief which is claimed by the petitioners, I fail to appreciate as to what useful purpose will be served by the Court appointing a commission to enquire into the .incidents of October-November 1984.

(107) If it is thought necessary, the Court can issue directions, as prayed for by the petitioners with regard to maintenance of peace etc. without a Commissioner being appointed. At this stage, thereforee, it is necessary to examine whether the Court would be justified in issuing directions with regard to taking security from persons for keeping peace, identification of the people named by the survivors and from preventing some persons from going into certain areas.

(108) At the time when the writ petition was filed in November 1984, it is possible that there was insecurity amongst the Sikh community which possibly induced the petitioners to file this petition and ask for the aforesaid reliefs. In November 1984 the wounds and scars of the carnage was still raw and large number of persons were living, in rehabilitation camps. He, however, find that since 3rd November 1984, no untoward incident, as feared by the petitioners, has .occurred. The law and order situation has been brought under control. Vast majority of the persons belonging to the Sikh Community, and who have taken shelter in the refuge camps, have left the camps and the same have been disbanded. Normalcy in the area has returned. This being so there is no occasion, at this point of time, for the Court to grant the said reliefs prayed for by the petitioners.

(109) During the course of arguments it was put to Mr. Mukhoty, the learned counsel for the petitioners, that if the reports annexed to the petition are assumed to be the reports of Commissioner then what further directions or relief can possibly be granted ?. The submission of Shri Mukhoty was that if a Commissioner was appointed he would find out the genesis of the riots; ascertain what progress has been made pursuant .to the First Information Reports having been filed; enquire as to what has happened with regard to the rehabilitation-of the victims give a report as to how many girls were assaultedh, adbucted, raped etc., ascertain as to whether property has been returned to the victims or not; find out whether the people are being threatened where they are staying at present and also enquire as to whether .the promised relief and rehabilitation has reached the people who had suffered. At the outset, it maybe noted that the petitioners have not, in the writ petition, asked for a Commissioner to be appointed for all or any of the above purposes. If this contention had been raised in the writ petition then the respondents would have had an occasion to give a reply. In any case from the affidavit which have been filed by the respondents, and which have been referred to at length, by my learned Brother, it is dear that the Government is taking necessary action for the purposes of rehabilitating the victims and bringing to book the culprits. If no action bad been taken by the Government then there may have been some justification for the Court to issue such directions to the respondents. We are, however, satisfied that whatever action by way of rehabilitation of the victims and for maintenance of law and order and for providing security to the victims could have been taken has already been taken by the Government. The various steps which the 'Government have taken in this behalf have, as already mentioned, being referred to by the respondents in their affidavits and we have no reason to dis-believe the contents thereof. The intervention of the Court by passing, any order, is thereforee neither desirable nor called for at this stage. If in any particular case there is any action or inaction on the part of the Government with regard to the grant of any relief or assistance or with regard to providing adequate security then the persons aggrieved can always approach the Courts of law for appropriate relief. Till such a concrete case is made out it would be inappropriate for the Court to issue any vague or general directions.

(110) For the aforesaid reasons thereforee no relief can be granted to the petitioners and I agree? that the petition should be dismissed with no order as to costs.

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