Apex court refuses urgent hearing to plea for federal police

December 11th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday refused to accord an urgent hearing to a plea for establishing a federal police force to tackle the menace of terrorism and other crimes with country-wide ramifications, saying “parliament is already seized of the matter”. The observation came from a bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi after petitioner Abani Kumar Shahu, a Delhi-based advocate, expressed lack of confidence in the government’s willingness to take effective and urgent steps for establishing a federal police force and urged the court to take up his plea.

The two houses of parliament Thursday began separate debates on the security scenario in the country in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes that claimed 179 lives and injured nearly 250.

Initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the government intended to introduce a legislation during the current session to create a national investigative agency to deal with incidents like the Mumbai strikes.

Shahu argued that the government had repeatedly been speaking about taking various stringent measures, including the establishment of a federal police force, after every major terrorist attack, but in reality it had done virtually nothing to tackle the menace of terrorism.

The bench, however, refused to take up Shahu’s plea, saying it was listed for hearing Dec 19.

In his petition, Shahu said that due to the growing incidents of terrorism, with the attackers repeatedly demonstrating their ability to strike at the time and place of their choice, the constitutional guarantee of the right of life has been rendered meaningless.

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