31 Jan 2023 8:53 AM GMT
The Gujarat Government on Monday submitted before the Gujarat High Court that it has found 5 policemen, including a police inspector, prima facie guilty in connection with the case of flogging of certain accused who allegedly pelted stones at a Gabra event in Gujarat's Kheda District in October last year.The submission was made before the Bench of Justice N. V. Anjaria and Justice Niral R....
The Gujarat Government on Monday submitted before the Gujarat High Court that it has found 5 policemen, including a police inspector, prima facie guilty in connection with the case of flogging of certain accused who allegedly pelted stones at a Gabra event in Gujarat's Kheda District in October last year.
The submission was made before the Bench of Justice N. V. Anjaria and Justice Niral R. Mehta which is presently hearing a plea moved by 5 members of a Muslim family seeking contempt action against several Police officers for allegedly tying and beating them up in full public view, cheering on and recording the incident, and circulating it in social media.
The plea alleges that the policemen had flouted the guidelines and directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of D.K. Basu V/s. State of West Bengal [(1997) 1 SCC 416]. In the 1996 judgment delivered in the D K Basu case, the SC had issued elaborate guidelines to check the abuse of police powers.
"IG ordered an inquiry and in this inquiry, 5 cops were found prima facie guilty and in the discplicnary proceedings, they are charge-sheeted, for major penalty (are attaracted). Few petitioners (alleged stone pelting accused) have moved a complaint to the magistrate and the magistrate ordered inquiry. There is one private complaint filed by one victim for this incident (flogging) on which cognizance is taken by the Magistrate," Government Pleader Mitesh Amin submitted before the Court.
To this, the Court asked him to file papers related to the investigation to show if contempt is actually made out or not against the cops. The Court also indicated that the magistrate-ordered inquiry under 202 CrPC, which has not been completed despite the fact that 4 months have passed, be completed.
Further, when the Government pleader Mitesh Amin sought to argue that there was a pre-planning between the alleged stone pelters to disrupt the Garba event, the bench said that it was prima facie not inclined to go into such peripheral issues while hearing a contempt of court proceedings.
In an earlier hearing of the case, the Court made it clear to the cops allegedly involved in the case that if they don't appear in the contempt plea pending before the Court, the Court 'shall proceed in accordance with law'. Pursuant to this, the policemen were represented by their counsel on Monday.
The Court granted them time to file their reply in the matter and posted the matter for further hearing on February 21.
About the incident
The Police action was allegedly in aftermath of the communal clash in Undhela village situated in Matar Taluka of Kheda district on October 3. It is alleged that some intruders pelted stones at the crowd during Navratri celebrations. At least 40 persons were arrested in the incident.
One of the Petitioners, Maksudabanu, a senior citizen, alleged that the Police entered her house at night in the absence of a woman constable, beat her up, and put her and her family members in illegal detention at the Police station.
It is alleged that the Petitioner and 5 others were later brought back to the village, tied up to a pole in the middle of the chowk, and brutally beaten up using lathis in front of the crowd. Earlier in October 2022, the Court issued a notice to the state.