Coming down laborious on police and administration officers, the Allahabad High Court has known as the late-night cremation of the Hathras girl who died after alleged gang-rape a violation of human rights for which accountability ought to be fastened. In its order after Monday’s listening to, the Lucknow bench of the excessive court docket warned towards “character assassination” of the victim and urged restraint by officers, political events and the media.
It additionally pulled up Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar and Hathras District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar for suggesting on the idea of a forensic report that the girl was not raped. The division bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajan Roy reminded the officers in regards to the “definition” of rape. The court docket additionally directed the state authorities to put down modalities for cremation in Hathras-like conditions.
The 11-page order, dated Monday, was uploaded Tuesday on the excessive court docket web site. The 19-year-old Dalit girl died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after her alleged rape by 4 males from her village in Hathras district on September 14.
She was cremated within the center of the evening in her village.
Family members claimed that the cremation, which passed off nicely previous midnight, was with out their consent they usually weren’t allowed to convey house the physique one final time. The hurried cremation fuelled additional outrage over the incident and the excessive court docket directed senior officers in addition to the victim’s household to look earlier than it on Monday.
The subsequent listening to within the case is on November 2, when the suspended Hathras Superintendent of Police Vikrant Vir has additionally been requested to look in court docket. The court docket mentioned the cremation with out following rituals violated the victim’s human rights in addition to these of her household and family.
The administration had argued that the cremation passed off in a hurled method as a result of it feared regulation and order issues. But the court docket was not happy with the district Justice of the Peace’s rationalization.
“We do not find any good reason on behalf of the administration as to why they could not hand over the body to the family members for some time, say for even half an hour, to enable them to perform their rituals at home and thereafter to cremate it either in the night or the next day,” the bench observed.
“Admittedly, though the administration may not have categorically refused the family members to see the face of the deceased, the fact remains that it was not shown to any of them in spite of their repeated requests,” the order added. The court questioned the state government’s action only against the then SP and not the DM. SP Vikrant Vir was first transferred out and then suspended.
The court ordered that the probe by a Special Investigation Team or the Central Bureau of Investigation should be kept confidential and not leaked out. It took note of statements which are “affecting and influencing” the investigation.
The bench said officers not directly connected with the investigation should not make any statement in public on the offence as it could lead to unnecessary speculation among people who may not be aware of the niceties of law. The order also cautioned the “over-joyous” media.
“Without 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 bask in character assassination of the victim, simply because the accused, shouldn’t be pronounced responsible earlier than a good trial.
The investigating company and the courts ought to be allowed to find out these points,” the bench mentioned.
The HC directed the state authorities to supply enough safety to the victim’s household and make sure that no hurt is finished to them.