New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned the hearing in the Delhi Violence case to March 12, asking the Centre, Delhi Police to file replies in the case by then. The court was hearing pleas seeking FIRs against several BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches, which, the petitioners argue, led to last week’s communal violence in northeast Delhi. Also Read - Delhi Violence: High Court to Hear Petition on Hate Speeches of BJP Leaders Today

The court further directed hospitals not to dispose off dead bodies till March 11 and ordered that DNA samples be preserved. A death toll of 53 has been recorded thus far as a result of the violence which swept through northeast Delhi between February 23 and 25 and was the national capital’s worst case of communal riots in nearly forty years.

The hearing took place today after the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, sent the matter back to the high court, directing that the pleas be listed for hearing on March 6, further observing that ‘the matter should be heard expeditiously as possible.’ The petitioners had approached the top court after the Delhi High Court, last Friday, allowed the Centre to become a party to the matter and adjourned the hearing to April 13.

The petitions, which have been filed by ten victims of the violence from riot-hit areas, also seek constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), comprising officers from outside Delhi to probe the violence and deployment of the Army to restore law and order in the affected areas.