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Hathras: Retd. Judicial Officer, Advocates Move SC For Court Monitored Investigation, Penal Action Against State Authorities, Strict Implementation Of Rape Laws [Read Petitions]

Mehal Jain
5 Oct 2020 3:57 PM GMT
Hathras: Retd. Judicial Officer, Advocates Move SC For Court Monitored Investigation, Penal Action Against State Authorities, Strict Implementation Of Rape Laws [Read Petitions]

The Supreme Court has been moved in two PILs in the wake of the unfortunate incident of the brutal gang-rape in Hathras, UP.The first plea, by Chandra Bhan Singh, retired Judicial Officer, states the petitioner is antsy and dismayed by the bizarre acts of the U.P State machinery. "The victim, a 19 year old girl, fromHathras, U.P, who as per newspaper reports, was gang-raped, assaulted to...

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The Supreme Court has been moved in two PILs in the wake of the unfortunate incident of the brutal gang-rape in Hathras, UP.

The first plea, by Chandra Bhan Singh, retired Judicial Officer, states the petitioner is antsy and dismayed by the bizarre acts of the U.P State machinery. "The victim, a 19 year old girl, from

Hathras, U.P, who as per newspaper reports, was gang-raped, assaulted to the hilt leading to multiple fracture of bone and rib, her tongue and other body parts were mutilated. For a fortnight she valiantly fought with death and finally on 29thSeptember, succumbed at Safdarjung Hospital. The events followed her death which was orchestrated high handedly by the State Administration, Government of U.P is not less gruesome, irksome, and ignominious asthe cadaver of the 19 Year old girl was treated like garbage and burn to ashes at 2.30 in the intervening night of 20-30 September 2020. Now the village is fortified by the Administration with barricades due to furtive fallacy", it is narrated.

The plea, through advocate Smarhar Singh, asks that if upon investigation guilt is established for treating the cadaver/corpse of the victim in an undignified manner then "Whether this Hon'ble Court is duty bound under Article 32 of the constitution of India to issue direction for lodging criminal prosecution against the erring respondents under section 297 of IPC or any other germane provision of law as the state administration/Police itself being the perpetrator".

Asserting that 'Salmond' the legal philosopher has said that there are three things in respect of which the concern extend and transcend even after the death i.e body, reputation and property, the petitioner, in such conspectus, asks whether right to dignified cremation/burial is an integral facet of Article 21 of the constitution of India and if so then whether the said fundamental right of the victim and her family has been denied, seized and snatched by the State Administration.

"Whether customary rituals practiced and professed by Hindu family upon a dead person during cremation/last rites comes within the purview of Article 25 of the Constitution of India, if so, then whether denial to profess, participate and conduct the last rites is not only violative of Article 25 of the constitution of India but also is a penal offence", the plea questions.

Besides, it places for the deliberation of the court whether the word and expression 'person' in Article 21 includes a dead person to whom the right to life should be extended in such a manner that his dead body is given the same respect/dignity to which such person is entitled had the person been alive subject to his customary law, tradition, culture and religion which the person profess.

"The scripts, verses and stanzas of 'GARUR PURAN', the guiding granth for Hindus since time immemorial tangibly, speaks that for salvation and to bestow peace to the departed soul, inter-alia, methodology is prescribed for cremation, last rite. Any wilful

transgression or omission of those customary rituals results in inflicting pain to the departed soul and the remaining alive member of his/her family are considered as sinner. Then whether the respondent No-3 to 7 who supervised and orchestrated the arson/torching of the dead body of victim young girl and also denying/ forcefully obstructing and locking the father and brother to participate in the cremation should be prosecuted and penalized?", the petitioner seeks to ask.

It is stated that the Right to dignified life and fair treatment bestowed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to a living man but also to his/her body after demise. "Whether the acts, omission of the State Administration in general and Prashant Kumar, ADG, Law and Order in particular, resulted in infringement of the rights of the victim deceased and his family hence they are liable for penal action", it is argued.

"This Hon'ble Court acknowledge that the Government should take steps for a decent burial even to unclaimed bodies hence the case in hand which is a sordid saga of arson of the cadaver of victim of Gang rape, mutilation, amputation of tongue (by 04 co-villagers) by the respondent Nos-3 to 7 and that too without pouring ghee but some other inflammable thing upon the corpse so that it turns into ashes swiftly in the intervening night i.e 2-3 AM of 20-30 September 2020, warrants appropriate direction U/A 32 of the Constitution as the felons are the State agencies", it is asserted.

It is submitted that Arun Shourie Authored 'Worshipping false Gods' with a failed endeavor to undermine the stature of Dr. Ambedkar as well as to decimate the de facto prevalence of discrimination in our civilized society. He called it a hyperbole and braggadocio created by Dr. Ambedkar. It was written with a motive to stride on the hidden agenda of his ideological affiliation. A rejoinder namely'Who Worship False Gods' was scripted by Mr. Ganga Das who born in a poor Dalit family in Muzaffarnagar adjacent to Hathras and became Civil Servant in 1967 pouncing over all apartheid. In his book he has countered and rebutted with sagacious dexterity the baseless vile (s) of ArunShourie. He goes on to point out in that Book how this social boycott unfortunately surged within the Hindus. JiyaLal Arya a Cambridge educated bureaucrat from Amethi, U,P in 1997 wrote a book 'Dalit KahaJaye: has depicted the quotidian ignominy encountered by an untouchable. He has acknowledged that Mhatma

Gandhi coined the term 'Harijan' and founded Harijan Sewak Sangh in 1932 to comprehend their betterment but nothing happened and there after the Harijans were called Dalit the term used in post Mandal era as vote bank.

"In such premise this Writ Petition is filed with a prayer for directing investigation and penal action against the perpetrators who are being the custodian of social welfare and order have indulged in a most sinister and heinous act which amounts to sacrilege of the Constitutional ethos", prays the petitioner.

The second plea, by advocates Kirti and Kanika Ahuja, also seeks the indulgence of the court towards the increasing heart wrenching brutal gang-rape and murder of young girls, the recent being the horrific incident of gang-rape with murder of 19 year old in Hathras District of Uttar Pradesh followed by other similar incidents.

"According to NCRB data, every 15 minutes a new rape case is reported. 8 years have passed since the country witnessed the nation-wide protest against the barbaric incident of Nirbhaya followed by Criminal Amendment Acts of 2013 and 2018, still such brutal rape cases even more violent and cruel some , are increasing exponentially in the country", it is submitted.

The plea argued that this is because of non-implementation of the existing laws on the ground level. The amendments were brought in IPC bringing more severe punishment for offences of sexual assault but because of the procedural lapses of criminal justice system, they are serving no useful purpose. The petitioner contends that it is apparent that the perpetrators have no fear of law, albeit they are fulfilling their monstrous desires by playing upon the weaknesses of our criminal justice system.

"Law is not static and it must evolve as per the changing circumstances in the society. When the crime changes, the law must also change. the spine-chilling feeling and fear which the women of this country goes through after watching such incidents should be rather felt by the perpetrators before committing such crimes. The law must be harsh for them not only in law books but also in implementation", it is urged.

Hence through this petition, the Petitioner has prayed for issuance of strict guidelines to be issued for proper implementation of existing rape laws and have also suggested further changes and amendment's to be brought/added in our criminal justice system to make the law more stringent and deterrent in cases dealing with offences of rape with grievous injury, gang-rape and rape/gang-rape with murder; so that there is Zero Tolerance against such crimes and the culprits are deterred from committing such heinous crimes.

The Petitioners have also raised the serious issue of violation of guidelines issued by this Court regarding protection of identity of rape victim.

After the Hathras Incident, it is pointed out that general public at large and few news agencies are printing and publishing the identity of rape victim along with the photographs on various social media platforms. Despite of having Section-228A IPC penalising such act, the identity of rape victims is not being protected. "The reason being the unawareness among the public at large. The Respondents must take this issue very sensitively and must create awareness among people that doing of such act is an offence. The Respondents can create awareness by way of Advertisement's and Disclaimers and even then if someone dares to commit such act, he/she must be punished accordingly", it is pressed.

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