[dropcap]A [/dropcap] two-judge vacation bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose has turned down a plea by 2018 Hapur lynching survivor, Samaydeen and others to direct the Uttar Pradesh Police to file a supplementary charge sheet in the mob attack that killed his father Qasim Qureshi.
The supplementary charge sheet had been sought in view of the additional affidavit filed on May 27, 2019 by the Hapur Superintendent of Police which contained fresh statements of Qureshi’s brothers, Saleem and Nadeem, which were recorded on May 15, 2019 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hapur, as per the provision of Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
While turning down the plea, the apex court instead asked Samaydeen, who himself was severely wounded in the attack, and the other petitioners to approach the trial court with the recorded statements.
“Having considered the matter, we are of the view that no such direction, as prayed for, ought to be issued. Rather, the order that would be appropriate to be passed, at this stage, would be to permit the petitioners to draw the attention of the learned trial judge to the aforesaid statements of the brothers of the deceased recorded under Section 164 CrPC. The petitioners may act accordingly, whereafter appropriate orders will be passed by the learned trial court,” the court said.
The court, however, turned down the UP government plea to dispose of the petitioners’ writ petition in view of the fact that there still remained some prayers to be adjudicated upon. The Supreme Court also allowed the petitioners’ lawyer Vrinda Grover to place before them some additional documents and translations pertaining to the case.
Background of the case
On June 18, 2018, Qureshi was lynched to death while his son, Samaydeen was severely wounded after a group of cow vigilantes brutally attacked them on the suspicion of being involved in cow slaughter and beef trading.
The apex court on September 5, 2018, had asked the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, to coordinate and oversee the investigation into the lynching after the UP Police tried to portray the mob lynching as an incident of road rage.
On April 8, 2019, the Supreme Court had directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to file a status report on the investigation. In their reply to the status report, the petitioners had pointed out, what they called, glaring contradictions and fatal shortcomings in the police investigation. They pointed out that the charge sheet had omitted to use legal tools and provisions that would show a common intention of the mob – a fatal flaw that was designed to result in an acquittal.
The trial court, however, proceeded to frame charges for murder, attempt to murder, rioting, rioting armed with a deadly weapon and for promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion. In framing the charges, the trial court had resorted to Section 149 IPC, which provides for punishment to all members of the mob for sharing a common object to commit the crimes.
The statements of Qureshi’s brothers, Saleem and Nadeem, will now be placed before the trial judge tomorrow.
Read the order here: