28 Jun 2023 2:49 PM GMT
The Gujarat High Court today issued notice to the State Government on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea moved before it seeking an inquiry into the June 16 incident of public flogging of alleged rioters involved in the Jungadh Mob Violence and other acts of committing custodial violence by Junagadh Police.The bench of Acting Chief Justice AJ Desai and Justice Biren Vaishnav asked...
The Gujarat High Court today issued notice to the State Government on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea moved before it seeking an inquiry into the June 16 incident of public flogging of alleged rioters involved in the Jungadh Mob Violence and other acts of committing custodial violence by Junagadh Police.
The bench of Acting Chief Justice AJ Desai and Justice Biren Vaishnav asked the state government to file a reply in the matter by July 17.
The PIL Plea, filed by Lok Adhikar Manch and Minority Coordination Committee through Advocate Anand J. Yagnik, further seeks the registration of an FIR against police personnel and officers responsible for the incident and for ransacking and destruction of moveable properties of suspects allegedly involved in the Violence incident.
It may be noted that violence broke out in Junagadh following the issuance of demolition notices by the local civic body to certain Islamic religious places on the grounds that they were encroaching on public roads.
In brief, the petition has submitted that on June 16, 8-10 Muslims were firstly detained by the Junagadh police and thereafter, they were made to stand in front of a Masjid/Dargah and after that, they were mercilessly flogged in the public gaze.
While referring to certain videos of the alleged brutal public flogging of citizens of India belonging to the minority community by Junagadh Police, the PIL plea has stated thus:
"Such police brutality of punishing citizens of India without any due process of law and without a competent court holding them guilty is the worst form of human rights violation by the law and enforcement agency itself. Even if the victims of police brutality are held guilty by a competent court, the punishment of public flogging in independent India is alien and unknown to the criminal justice system...Such kind of punishment is held by the Apex Court as being colonial, archaic, barbaric and most inhumane punishment unknown to the civilized world that destroys not only the character of a victim but tarnishes the image of a nation that runs on the Rule of Law and not its exceptions."
The PIL plea further states that the persons who were mercilessly flogged were produced before the JMFC as accused at a very belated juncture. The very victims were detained first as suspects/accused in the police station without any treatment after public flogging and they were not provided with any medical treatment.
"The victims were so much tortured mentally and physically that they could not utter a word when they were produced before the Ld. JMFC in response to a formal question as to whether the police ill-treated the victims after their arrest till they were produced before the Ld. Court. The victims have been remanded to police custody. After the arrest of the victims, the Junagadh police has visited their homes and caused havoc besides ransacking the house from within," the PIL plea says
The PIL plea also submits that at least six juveniles were also arrested by the Police and were subjected to custodial violence and torture and they even submitted written complaints in writing before the magistrate court, however, the said complaints were withdrawn after the parents of the juvenile were approached by the Junagadh Police.
"Incidentally, the Ld. JMFC did not inquire into the circumstances for withdrawn and ascertained the genuineness of such application. Moreover, the Ld. JMFC did not make any effort to find out whether such a withdrawal application has been made, in the case of juveniles and others, out of free volition or under the threat and coercion by Junagadh police. This aspect requires inquiry and investigation," the plea states.
Counsel for the Applicants: AJ Yagnik
Counsel for respondents: Government Pleader Manisha Lavkumar with AGP KM Antani
Case title - Lok Adhikar Sangh vs. State Of Gujarat [WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO.61 of 2023]
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