The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court condemning the conduct of police in the Hathras case questioned if the case would have been treated differently had the girl, instead of belonging to a poor family, came from a rich one.
The High Court questioned the 2 am cremation of the 20-year-old, who died after brutal torture and alleged gang rape.
The district administration and the police have claimed in the court that the call to cremate the body the same night was taken in view of the law and order situation.
In the court, District Magistrate Praveen Kumar had accepted responsibility for the post-midnight cremation.
A division bench of Justice Rajan Roy and Justice Jaspreet Singh had ordered the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary, state police chief and an additional director general of police to appear before the court.
The bench also ordered Hathras district magistrate and superintendent of police to appear to brief the court, including the ongoing probe into it.
“The incidents which took place after the death of the victim on September 29, 2020, leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience. Therefore, we are taking suo moto cognizance of the same,” the court had said in its order.
In a separate development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI took over the inquiry in the Hathras gang-rape and murder case of the 19-year old Dalit woman by the upper caste men, that has sparked nationwide outrage.
The case was earlier being probed by the Uttar Pradesh Police which has been criticised for the ‘dead-at-night’ cremation of the victim and the way UP police handled the case. The UP Yogi Adityanath’s government had recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last week.
The victim was allegedly assaulted by the men on September 14 and died September 29 in Safdarjung Hospital,Delhi as she had suffered from multiple fracture, paralysis and had difficulties in breathing by a neck injury in the assault.