Supreme Court seeks Centre’s Response for CBI Probe Into Late Junaid Khan Mob Lynching Case

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Case:

Jalalludin v. State of Haryana & Ors.

Judge:

Hon’ble Kurian Joseph and Hon’ble Mohan Shantanagoudar.

Facts:

On 22.06.2017 Junaid (deceased), his brother Hashim and their co-villagers Mosin and Moin had traveled to Delhi to make purchases for Eid celebrations. All of them boarded a train at about 5:30 at Sadar Bazar station to return to their village. When the train reached Okhla station a middle-aged person aged about 55 years addressed as ‘Panditji’(Rameshwar Dass of village Khambhi) by others boarded the train. He led a gang of persons who started misbehaving with Junaid and others asking them to vacate the seats

“They addressed them as ‘Mullas’ and ‘Katlas’ further stating that the assailants shall feed them beef on that day. Panditji called them Pakistani and traitors and told others in the compartment that these four persons were known criminals and terrorists. The ritual caps of Hashim and Moin were removed from their heads in an insulting manner by the mischief mongers. The four unfortunate victims desperately wanted to avoid the trouble.”

Finding themselves vulnerable, Hashim and Mosin made a phone call to their brothers Shakir and Amir respectively, intimating about the emerging situation from the phone of Salman. The four victims could not board down at Faridabad. While Salman boarded down at Old Faridabad station. Rameshwar Dass loudly started making a provocative speech against the Muslims in general. He told the passengers who entered from New Town, Faridabad that these four young Muslims passengers were known criminals and terrorists and some others proclaimed that Muslims were beef eaters, traitors, and Pakistanis.

At Ballabgarh a determined gang of persons blocked the path of Junaid and others making it impossible for them to board down. However, Moin succeeded in quietly sneaking away and got down in Ballabgarh. However, their telephonic message having been received in their village, three persons namely Shakir (brother of Junaid), Hashim and Mausin tried to board the train. Only the first two actually boarded the compartment. Junaid, Hasim and Mosim s/o Rehmuddin remained continuously surrounded. A result of careful planning and a conspiracy that they were not allowed to board down at Ballabgarh to safety

They were abused in the name of mother and sisters jeered at, manhandled, kicked and punched. The new entrants namely Shakir and Mustakin also suffered the same fate when they tried to intervene and pacify the wrongdoers. One person Ramesh and Rameshwar Dass openly exhorted Naresh to kill the traitors. As a result, Naresh opened an attack with a knife. Firstly, he attacked Shakir on his neck, chest, and hand, then he gave many stabs blows to Junaid, the deceased and thereafter he switched his attack towards Hashim who was caused two stab blows.

A case was registered on the statement attributed to Hashim which is purported to have been recorded on 23.06.2017 at 2:30 AM by Suratpal, ASI, GRP Ballabgarh.

It is the grievance of the Petitioner that the statement of all the witnesses has been deliberately distorted to introduce ambiguity, discrepancies, and contradictions with the calculated interest of benefiting the accused.

The acts committed by various accused were individual in nature except for minor offenses like wrongful restraint (section 341 IPC), simple hurt (section 323 IPC) and uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person (Section 298 IPC). Sections with regard to major offenses under Section 302 and 307 IPC have been attributed to only accused Naresh Kumar.

Questions of Law:

  1. Whether the Hon’ble High Court ought to have taken a strict view towards the lapses on the part of functionaries of Respondent No 1 in conforming to the highest standards of objectivity, competence an, probity in the manner of discharge of their statutory functions of investigation?
  2. Whether the Hon’ble High Court failed to consider that the larger public interest would be better served if the investigation of the case shall be carried out by an independent agency such as Respondent No 4 i.e. Central Bureau of Investigation to instil the confidence in the people in general and the aggrieved section in particular?
  3. Whether the Hon’ble High Court should have considered the well-founded grouse and grievance of the Petitioner that investigation conducted by Respondent No 2 and 3 was neither professional nor comprehensive and fair?
  4. Whether the Hon’ble High Court ought to have acknowledged the nation-wide ramifications of the said case, as a cogent reason to direct the transfer of investigation to Respondent No 4?

Notice:

A Bench, led by Justice Kurian Joseph, issued a notice to the CBI and the Haryana government on Mr. Jalalluddin’s petition, which alleged a concerted attempt to cover up the true nature of the crime committed against his minor son.

A bench of justices also stayed the trial in the case till further orders.

The court’s decision came after the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the appeal against the single-bench judgment that had rejected the father’s plea for a CBI probe in the case. The division bench had dismissed the plea on the question of maintainability and the family was then given two week’s time to approach the Supreme Court.

Learning outcome:

The Court has agreed to examine his father’s plea seeking a CBI probe into the incident. The incident could have occurred with anyone. A 16-year old, his body soaked in blood, his head cradled in his brother’s lap, died on a railway platform. The haunting image is splashed across news websites. Before he ended there he was beaten and thrashed and stabbed by a mob that materialized out of a seemingly normal crowd of commuters in a railway compartment. The altercation, reportedly, was about seats. India has always abided by the Preamble of the Constitution and being a secular country a person shall not be mocked around due to his religion. Being a Muslim is no crime; it is a belief and shall be given respect it deserves.

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