'What if the Girl was Rich' Allahabad HC Asks UP Government While Hearing Hathras Rape Casetext_fields
In an official hearing on Hathras rape case, Allahabad High court made staunch criticisms on District administration and Police by asking "What if the girl was your family member or a rich girl. Would you have cremated her in the same way? The case would have been treated differently for a rich girl". District Magistrate Praveen Kumar clarified the side, by saying that there was no forcible intention from Uttar Pradesh Government to cremate the body at night without the permission of victim's family. By highlighting the 'law and order situation' theory, the District administration and Police said: "the body had to cremate in the night". At the same time, High Court examined the class privilege mentality of UP Police in Hathras case.
The court's criticism generated when the case roiled India and sparked enmity in the form of street protests. The Police cremated the dead body of a 20-year-old victim locking her family members inside their home at 2 am. While considering the Suo moto case on October 1st, Allahabad Court said it was of "Immense public Importance" as it carries allegations and arguments of "High handedness of state authorities".
Court also added that the incident resulted in the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and basic human rights of the deceased girl's family. Court also noted that cremation has done without following the religious rituals of the victim's community. The bench highlighted the Supreme Court order of 1995 that ruled Article 21 of Constitution gives Right to Life, Right to Dignity and the right to do "Fair treatment of the dead body". Allahabad High Court determined the issues of whether there was a violation of Fundamental Rights and Human Rights happened? Did they follow Hindu Rituals? Was the cremation had done in an illegal manner? Following that, Court has been arranged for the next hearing on November 2.
The Forensic report released by District Administration concludes that the 20-year-old girl was not subjected to rape. The court further made staunch criticisms on District Administration and Police by asking "How do you know she wasn't raped? has the investigation concluded?" High Court ordered the Police to go thoroughly through the new rape law of 2013. The misleading way of handling of the case received huge criticisms and trigger to Uttar Pradesh Government and Police.
Victim's family lawyer Seema Kushwaha said that girl's family had demanded high profile trial on State's decision. Less than 15 people attended the hearing. The HC also has excluded the family members from the next hearing. Senior Advocate in charge J.N.Mathur pleaded that every Indian citizen has the right to get cremated under religious tradition and rituals that mention in Article 25 of Constitutional provisions. Seema Kushwaha, the family lawyer of the victim, said that they want to keep the facts related to probe & Special Investigation Team report under the confidential setting. She demanded the transfer of a case from out of UP by saying that Family need more transparent investigation on the case and thereby wants to shift the case from UP to Delhi or Mumbai Courts.
The brutal rape happened on September 14 when the girl was taking cattle fodder. The alleged rapists are four Thakur men in the village. She died on September 29 and got cremated by Police and District administration in Post Mid Night without family permission.
(With inputs from Sofia Babu)