A day after the hurried cremation of the Dalit rape victim in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, the Allahabad High Court took the suo motu cognizance of the case and directed senior officials of the state government and police, including of the district, to be present at the next hearing on October 12.
The court has also asked the family members of the victim to be present at the court in order to hear their version also especially for the cremation organised by the police in the middle of the night.
It also said that it would decide “as to the necessity of monitoring the investigation or getting it conducted through an independent agency as per law.”
On the matter, the court said that it is of “immense public importance and public interest” as there are allegations of “high-handedness by the state authorities resulting in violation of the basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also of her family members”.
“As it is, the deceased victim was treated with extreme brutality by the perpetrators of the crime, and what is alleged to have happened thereafter, if true, amounts to perpetuating the misery of the family and rubbing salt in their wounds,” the court said.
The High Court further said that it would like to examine “whether the economic and social status of the deceased’s family has been taken advantage of by the state authorities to oppress and deprive them of their Constitutional rights”.
The suo motu PIL would be heard by an appropriate Bench and a record kept of all news items referred by it, the court said.
It said the media organisations concerned would be requested to produce the relevant material and content on the basis of which they had reported the matter.
As reported by Indian Express, the officials summoned by the court on October 12 include the Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary (Home), the DGP, Additional Director General (Law and Order), the Hathras District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.