Lucknow Bench unhappy with official response.
The Allahabad High Court has mentioned it’s not happy with the reason of the Uttar Pradesh government on why it had taken motion towards the district police chief of Hathras however not the District Magistrate (DM) over the alleged rape of a Dalit woman and the hurried cremation of the victim, although it was admittedly a “collective decision”.
The motion of the State authorities, although within the title of the legislation and order scenario, was prima facie an infringement upon the human rights of the sufferer and her household, said the court docket.
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The Lucknow Bench additionally pulled up Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar and requested if it was correct for anybody circuitously related with the investigation to remark, even when the probe was pending. Mr. Kumar, who had controversially said that the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report did not find semen in the victim’s body and therefore dominated out rape, agreed that this could not occur.
Earlier, when the court docket requested Awanish Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary-Home, why solely the Superintendent of Police had been suspended however the DM was allowed to proceed in his job, Mr. Awasthi mentioned the primary report of the SIT (Special Investigation Team) had indicted the Superintendent of Police. However, on being requested as whether or not the SIT had absolved the DM and if the function of the DM was the subject material of the SIT probe, he said it was not. “He could not give any satisfactory reply in this regard as to why the two officers had been treated differently,” mentioned the court docket.
Mr. Awasthi then informed court docket that the government would look into the query of permitting the current DM to proceed in his submit from the viewpoint of the investigation.
Family members of the sufferer and high State officers had on Monday appeared before the court and narrated their variations after the court docket had on October 1 taken up the matter of the alleged pressured and hurried burial of the lady suo motu.
The High Court mentioned that the investigation within the Hathras case — whether or not by the SIT or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) — ought to be saved in full confidentiality and no report or submit of it ought to be leaked in public. The court docket additionally directed the State to make sure the security and safety of the household of the deceased sufferer.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, in an order dated October 12, additionally said that no officer who was “not directly connected with the investigation should make any statement in public regarding commission of the offence alleged or otherwise based on evidence collected”.
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This might result in “unnecessary speculation and confusion amongst the masses, who may not be aware of niceties of law, thereby fuelling emotions on both sides,” noticed Justices Pankaj Mithal and Rajan Roy.
The court docket on Monday additionally mentioned that “without in any manner intending to interfere with the right of freedom of expression, we request the media as also the political parties to air their views in a manner which does not disturb social harmony and/or infringe upon rights of the victim’s family and that of the accused”.
No one ought to take pleasure in character assassination of the sufferer simply because the accused shouldn’t be pronounced responsible earlier than a good trial, the judges famous.
The court docket famous that the info and circumstances of the case ex facie reveal that the choice to cremate the sufferer within the evening with out handing over the physique to the members of the family or searching for their consent was taken collectively by the administration on the native degree and was applied on the orders of the District Magistrate.
“The victim was at least entitled to decent cremation in accordance with her religious customs and rituals, which essentially are to be performed by her family,” mentioned the court docket.
Sensitivities of the individuals which the Constitution recognises as elementary rights, such with no consideration to first rate burial or cremation as per traditions and customs adopted by the household, must be revered, the court docket famous.
If issues of upkeep of legislation and order are pitted towards such invaluable rights, the scenario must be dealt with deftly and responsibly with a correct appreciation of each the facets as such invaluable rights can’t be trampled or trifled casually or whimsically, particularly when these more likely to be disadvantaged are of the downtrodden class, uneducated and poor, the court docket mentioned.
The sufferer’s father, mom, elder brother, youthful brother and elder brother’s spouse narrated their variations on the matter to the Bench. The father of the deceased informed court docket that neither he nor any member of the instant household participated within the cremation on the intervening evening of September 29 and 30, and that the administration cremated the physique within the evening itself regardless of their insistence to have the cremation within the morning.
The sufferer’s father pleaded that he wished justice for his daughter however had no grudge towards the officers, besides that they refused handy over the physique of his daughter to the household they usually weren’t allowed to cremate her in accordance with Hindu rituals.
The mom of the deceased lamented that she had wished to see her daughter’s face however she was not allowed, and towards her needs, the physique was cremated within the evening. She broke down whereas narrating all the episode.
The brothers of the sufferer submitted that the authorities acted in an high-handed method. The sister-in-law of the deceased was “very sour” and said that the officers “be-fooled the family”, and a few even misbehaved with the family who have been current and tried to cease the ambulance from continuing to the cremation floor.
District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar submitted earlier than court docket that wanting into the sensitivity of the Babri Masjid demolition verdict due on September 30 and the legislation and order scenario, and “intervention of political parties” within the Hathras case, in session with Commissioner of Police-Aligarh; Additional Director General-Agra; Inspector General-Aligarh; Superintendent of Police-Aligarh, and himself, “a collective decision” was taken to cremate the physique within the evening itself.
If the cremation had been delayed and undertaken within the morning, a crowd of 10,000 individuals would have collected, and a caste and political subject made, the DM mentioned.
“The entire decision was taken in a bona fide manner to maintain the law and order situation, and that the father of the deceased was convinced for cremation in the night. It was on his consent only that the body was cremated,” the DM mentioned.
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The DM additional submitted that the cremation was carried out with full honour and it was incorrect to recommend that the physique was burnt by sprinkling kerosene.
The court docket mentioned, quoting the DM: “A proper pyre was laid. In the cremation, kerosene was not used and probably, the cans which may be appearing in some of the videos were those carrying Ganges water (Ganga jal).”
The DM categorically said that “no one from above or Lucknow” had instructed him to take such a choice or had directed the finishing up of the cremation at evening. But in the identical vein, he had said that he was not conscious if some directions had been given by the State on this regard to senior officers who have been concerned within the collective determination, mentioned the court docket.
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The District Magistrate, nonetheless, couldn’t fulfill the court docket concerning the observance of final rites whereas cremating the sufferer’s physique as per the traditions and customs of the household, the court docket mentioned.
Mr. Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), Lucknow, endorsed the assertion of the DM- Hathras and said that, in view of the safety inputs from all sources, a bona fide determination was taken on the native degree by the administration to cremate the physique within the evening, and that there was no extraneous purpose equivalent to destroying proof, and many others., in finishing up the cremation at evening.
The court docket additionally requested him if he was conscious of the amendments in legislation referring to the definition of rape, and that the mere absence of semen throughout forensic examination, although an element for consideration, wouldn’t by itself be conclusive as as to if rape had been dedicated or not, if there was different admissible proof.