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Baba Ramdev: Supreme Court eye on Ramlila swoop 'lie'

Author: DNA Correspondent
Publication: Daily News & Analysis
Date: January 10, 2012
URL: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_baba-ramdev-supreme-court-eye-on-ramlila-swoop-lie_1635593-all

The Supreme Court has put the Home Ministry and Delhi police on alert saying if it’s found that the affidavit filed by them in the mid night swoop on Yoga guru Ramdev’s followers and attack on him in early June is misleading, it would initiate proceedings against the ministry and Union government.

While continuing with the suo motu proceedings questioning the reported police highhandedness against Ram Dev and the innocent yoga learners at Ram Lila ground, a bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Swantanter Kumar on Monday took serious note of the contention made by Rajeev Dhawan, who is assisting the court in this matter, that June 4-5, 2011 crackdown was pre-planned by the home ministry and to derive political benefits.

In its affidavit, police commissioner BK Gupta had claimed that it acted on its own during the crackdown.

It had also blamed Baba Ramdev for organising the unlawful assembly as the authorities had granted permission to the Yoga teacher to use the ground only to hold a yoga camp and not for any other purpose such as anti corruption agitation.

Rajeev Dhawan, who is the amicus curiae or senior lawyer assigned to assist the court, had said in the last hearing that it was upon Chidambaram’s advice that the police intervened.

Dhawan also said that records, which include Chidambaram’s interviews at the time show that the crackdown on the camp had been planned by the government well in advance.When the crackdown was staged, the yoga teacher had been in negotiations with senior ministers over how they should recover black money stashed abroad.

According to Dhawan the documents including a press release from home minister P Chidambaram’s office on June 8said, “A decision was taken that Baba Ramdev would not be allowed to organize any procession or to undertake any fast at the Ramlila Maidan ground. If he persisted in his efforts to do so, he will be directed to remove himself from Delhi.”Dhawan drew the court’s attention to the press note.

“This suggests that the decision was taken at the home minister’s level, but suspended while talks with Ramdev were on... and when talks failed, the police enforced the decision,” he said while rubbishing the police claim that it had acted of its own.
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