A Delhi court on Saturday told the police to explain why they did not bring the case file pertaining to the 2019 violence at the Jamia Milia Islamia University to the notice of the special public prosecutor for over a year, PTI reported.

Assistant Sessions Judge Arul Varma passed the directions while hearing arguments on the framing of charges in a case filed by the police under provisions pertaining to rioting, attempt to commit culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy.

The police have booked student activists Sharjeel Imam, Safoora Zargar, Mohammed Ilyas, Belaal Nadeem, Shahzar Raza Khan, Mahmood Anwar, Mohammed Qasim, Umair Ahmad, Chanda Yadav and Abuzar in the case.

On December 15, 2019, violence had erupted on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus during the student protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The Delhi Police was accused of barging into the university campus and using excessive force to quell the demonstrations. The police claimed its action was justified as the protestors had allegedly injured its personnel and set buses on fire.

The court, in its order on Saturday, noted that Special Public Prosecutor Madhukar Pandey was appearing in the case for the first time. The court said that he sought an adjournment as the case file had been given to him recently and he needed time to prepare his arguments.

Judge Verma said that the special public prosecutor was appointed on July 26, 2021, but neither the investigating officer nor the assistant commissioner of police or the deputy commissioner of police brought the case to his notice.

“Let copy of this order be sent to concerned DCP Crime Branch to give explanation as to why the file was not brought to the notice of [the special public prosecutor] despite him being appointed as per above mentioned notification,” the court said, according to Live Law. “Report be filed on the next date of hearing.”

The case will be heard on December 13.