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Hathras Victim's Lawyers Call For Afresh Departmental Inquiry & Penal Charges Against Police Officer

Shrutika Pandey
9 July 2021 2:45 PM GMT
Hathras Victims Lawyers Call For Afresh Departmental Inquiry & Penal Charges Against Police Officer
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In the Hathras Rape Case, the lawyers on behalf of the victim have called upon the Director-General of Police (Uttar Pradesh) on Saturday for afresh departmental inquiry against Circle Officer (Sadabad) Ram Shabd in conformity with the rule of law and principles of natural justice.Senior Advocate Vrinda Grover, through the representation, called upon to invoke penal laws for...

In the Hathras Rape Case, the lawyers on behalf of the victim have called upon the Director-General of Police (Uttar Pradesh) on Saturday for afresh departmental inquiry against Circle Officer (Sadabad) Ram Shabd in conformity with the rule of law and principles of natural justice.

Senior Advocate Vrinda Grover, through the representation, called upon to invoke penal laws for "deliberately sabotaging criminal investigations" under Section 166A, 192, 201, and 218 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. She alleged that the departmental inquiry being conducted against Ram Shabd are farcical and illegal, without any adherence to the principles of natural justice.

The Circle Officer (Sadabad) Ram Shabd led the investigation in the gang rape and murder of the Dalit Hathras victim in September 2020. However, on allegations of not registering the case as a crime of gang rape and ommission to record the name of the four accused despite the clear statement of the victim and her family members, Ram Shabd was suspended, and the investigation of the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The representation also alleges that he deliberately lost critical and time-sensitive medical forensic evidence and did not record the statements of the family members of the deceased victim.

The representation narrates that as a part of the departmental inquiry against Ram Shabd, the victim's family members were summoned by Shri Praveen Kumar, the IG (Meerut Zone), to record their statements. However, the IG was not present. Their statements were recorded by the officer Ram Shabd himself, who manipulated and distorted their statement in his favor and that of the accused facing trial before the Special SC/ST Court in Hathras. In the absence of the IG, the representation expresses concern that the officer was unchecked and unsupervised. It notes,

"There was thus complete impunity for the delinquent officer to control and conduct the proceedings and manipulate recording of evidence to secure false and fabricated statements in a manner best suited to his own interest."

Thereby, the representation further alleges that the statements were recorded on the dictation of the officer, distorting, manipulating, and falsifying the record. While all three family members of the deceased victim deposed in the absence of the Enquiry Officer, they were not read their statements and explained but were rather forced to put their thumb impressions on it.

The representation also alleges that the deceased victim's brother Satyendra Kumar was tricked into giving a statement exonerating Ram Shabd. It noted,

"For example, Addl SP (Hathras) Shri Prakash Kumar asked Satendra Kumar, "Did you make any complaint against me to the SIT?", to which Satendra Kumar answered in the negative and stated that he had not made any such complaint against Shri Prakash Kumar. Satendra Kumar gave this answer in the belief that Prakash Kumar was asking the question with regard to himself, and not Ram Shabd."

The representation further mentions the limitations of the deceased victim's family to meaningfully participate in the investigation; whereby her mother is illiterate, her father has a poor eye-sight, and her brother has not studied beyond school. The representation reads,

"They all belong to the Valmiki caste which is a Scheduled Caste, and are people with limited means. They have no knowledge of law nor are they familiar with legal processes. They were subjected to proceedings that are completely alien to them without any offer to provide a support person or professional assistance. Their poverty, illiteracy and marginalized caste status was exploited to mislead them and wrong, distorted and false statements were recorded in their name in the aforesaid departmental proceedings on 28.06.2021."

When the deceased victim's brother managed to pursue the records, he found out that the statements had not been recorded accurately, instead falsified and manufactured to support the officer.

The representation seeks to seriously deal with sabotaging the investigation by police officers claiming the constitutionally guaranteed right against discrimination and arbitrariness in State action. It further states that police complicity cannot defeat the right to observance of principles of natural justice in quasi-judicial proceedings, as well as the right to fair investigation.

The representation is awaiting a reply from the DGP, Uttar Pradesh.

In March 2020, the Allahabad High Court directed an enquiry into the victim's family and lawyers; complain regarding the threats extended to them in open Court.  

Click Here To Download The Representation

Read The Representation


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