‘Not Inclined To Multiply Litigation’: Allahabad High Court Rejects PIL Seeking Judicial Enquiry Into Hathras Case
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking Judicial Enquiry under Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 into Hathras case. A Bench led by Chief Justice Govind Mathur said that the case is already pending before a Division Bench at Lucknow which took suo moto cognizance of midnight cremation of the victim’s body and thus, it shall not be appropriate to ‘multiply litigation’ by entertaining the present Petitioner.
By Akshita Saxena
The petition has also sought to issue directions to the Government authorities against restraining the media from meeting the family members of the Hathras rape victim. “Suffice it to state that for the same issue, cognizance has already been taken by Division Bench of this Court at Lucknow in Public Interest Litigation (Civil) No. 16150 of 2020. The petitioner, if wants to press any additional issue, may move an appropriate application in that writ.
Moots Proceedings For Misconduct Against Errant Officers We are not inclined to multiply the litigation in relation to the issue which is already under consideration,” the Bench also comprised of Justice Piyush Agrawal said.
The Petitioner, one Babita Upadhayay had filed a PIL before the High Court seeking directions to the authorities not to restrain the media or the public at large to meet the family members of the victim and provide free access to the public. Fear Of Transfer From Taloja Jail Besides, she had also sought a general direction to the State Government to formulate proper guidelines and provide adequate and uniform compensation to all the victims of gang rape and murder without any discrimination.
The petition was disposed of with liberty to move an appropriate application before the Division Bench at Lucknow. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the Hathras gang rape case on October 1, stating that is an “extremely sensitive” matter, touching upon the basic human/ fundamental rights of the citizens. Subsequently, the investigation of the case was transferred to the CBI.
Prima Facie Abuse Of Process Of Law: Allahabad High Court A PIL was also filed before the Supreme Court, seeking court monitoring of the investigation of the case. However, taking note of pendency of the matter before the High Court, the Top Court asked the High Court to monitor the on-going CBI probe. As regards the plea for transfer of trial outside the State of Uttar Pradesh, the CJI-led bench statedthat the question of transfer is left open until the investigation is completed.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was abducted and gang raped by four men in UP’s Hathras district on September 14. The victim was subjected to brutal torture by breaking her bones and cutting off her tongue. She passed away on Tuesday, 29th of September, and was cremated by police officials (allegedly at the directions of Hathras DM) in the middle of the night without the consent of her family.
The Division Bench at Lucknow had made very strong remarks against State administration for “infringement upon the human rights of the victim and her family” and has asked if it was fair and reasonable to allow the District Magistrate to continue at Hathras during pendency of the investigation. In the last hearing of the case, held on November 25, Uttar Pradesh Government submitted that it has decided not to transfer the DM. The State also attempted to justify the cremation of the victim in the night & he contended that the District Magistrate did not commit any wrong in this regard.
Courtesy : Live Law