13 Jan 2020
JNU violence: Delhi HC issues notice to Google, WhatsApp, Apple
Written bySiddhant Pandey
The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a notice to Google, WhatsApp, and Apple, on a plea seeking the preservation of evidence of the January 5 violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The petition had been filed by three JNU professors after around 50 masked goons entered the JNU campus on January 5, thrashing students and teachers.
The Delhi Police is investigating the case.
Delhi HC adjourns matter for tomorrow
According to LiveLaw, Justice Brijesh Sethi did not entertain the interim prayer for the preservation of evidence since the counsels for Google, WhatsApp and Apple were not present.
The court, however, sent them notices and listed the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police apprised the court of the relevant steps it has taken thus far in the case.
Have sought information from JNU admin, WhatsApp: Delhi Police
Appearing for the Delhi Police, Rahul Mehra told the court that the police has asked JNU administration to preserve and hand over footage captured by the 137 CCTV cameras on campus between January 3 and January 6, Bar and Bench reported.
Mehra said the police is yet to receive a response on its request.
The police has also written to WhatsApp, Mehra said.
Police inquired WhatsApp about 'Unity Against Left', 'Friends of RSS'
Mehra reportedly said that the police has sought information from the messaging app about two WhatsApp groups, 'Unity Against Left' and 'Friends of RSS', where the January 5 JNU mob attack was allegedly co-ordinated.
Mehra told the court, "WhatsApp might take months to furnish the requisite information. However, if an order is passed by this court, the information will be furnished immediately," LiveLaw reported.
Petition asked for preservation of data, CCTV footage, other evidence
The petitioners—represented by senior advocates Rebecca John, Akhil Sibal, and Gopal Sankaranarayanan—had claimed that the attack on JNU was a "pre-planned conspiracy."
The petition argued, "It would not have been possible for a mob in such large numbers, many of whom appear to be outsiders, to enter the JNU campus," urging the preservation of data, CCTV footage and other evidence.
What happened at Jawaharlal Nehru University?
The Left-led JNU Student Union had boycotted the winter semester registration—which started January 1—protesting a hostel fee hike.
This led to clashes on campus, following which, Left student outfits allegedly vandalized the server room on January 4.
On January 5, the Left outfits allegedly attacked the Periyar hostel. In the evening, a masked mob stormed the campus, thrashing students and teachers.
Delhi Police asks 49 people to join probe
The police has also asked 49 people to join the probe, including Akshat Awasthi and Rohit Shah, who confessed to orchestrating the mob attack in a sting operation conducted by India Today.
The police said it has identified the masked woman assailant, whose photo went viral. The India Today sting identified her as ABVP's Komal Sharma.
The police will interrogate 9 suspects starting Monday.