On 19th January 2020, the Delhi High Court in its order directed the Commissioner of Delhi Police to assess the petition by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) like a representation within 2 days. The petitioners sought permission to protest under the banner of ‘Black Lives Matter’ against the detention of some ingenious people of Biafra.
The single-judge bench comprised of Justice Navin Chawla, who passed the order. The petitioner is an organization for the care and welfare of people from the Biafra region in Nigeria, Africa.
“#Black lives matter in India as well”: IPOB
The petitioner contended that Black lives matter in India as well. Hence, they demonstrated the protest outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan against the Greater Noida Police. The police had allegedly, illegally detained two Biafrans since September 2019.
Notably, the petition inter-alia prayed that:
“Court issue directions and allow the petitioner to Hold Peace Protest and Demonstration under the Banner of IPOB and #Black Lives Matters. The Delhi Police illegally detained two members of the IPOB namely Mr. Chima Paul Ugochukwu and Mr. Chinasa Victor Obioha at Surajpur police lines, 49 battalions, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, since 24th September 2019.”
In addition, they stated that they made a representation before several authorities regarding the matter. Yet, no authority gave them any recognition. In continuance, the petitioner rightly stated that even in case of expiration of the visa, an individual cannot be detained for more than 8 months.
Therefore, the petition prayed that the court must pass an appropriate order directing the respondent, Delhi Police, and MHA to take steps in allowing peaceful protests. Furthermore, the petitioner requested the court to direct UP Police to permit the illegally detained Biafrans to meet with their advocates and relatives and thereby produce relevant documents.
The petitioner also assured that they would conduct protests in a peaceful manner. They also stated that the protests would not intend to break the Social-Distancing norms and other COVID-19 safety measures.
Orders of the Delhi High Court
In reply, the court directed the Commissioner Delhi Police to review the contents of the petition as a representation. The court further ordered the respondent to decide upon the requests of the petitioner and communicate its decision to them within 3 days. The order reads as follows:
“Needless to say that if the petitioner is aggrieved of the decision of the respondent no.1, it shall always be open to the petitioner to challenge the same in accordance with the law. It is, however, made clear that this court has not expressed any opinion on the averments made in the petition.”
Advocates Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, Mr. Bibhuti Bhushan Mishra, and Ms. Kriti Kumari represented the petitioner organization. Whereas, the State was notably represented by Additional Standing Counsel, GNCTD, Mr. Anuj Aggarwal.
The Court disposed of the matter with regards to all the terms, contentions, and observations.