THE STATE government Wednesday filed its counter affidavit in the Allahabad High Court, claiming that “each aspect” of the brutal and cold-blooded murder of a man in Dadri last year has been investigated in the “most fair, impartial and unbiased manner”.
The state-appointed investigation has examined “all relevant witnesses” under Section 161 and 164 of the CrPC, and “exonerated” one accused Sonu alias Dhammo — named by the son of victim Mohammad Akhlaq as one of the main attackers — from murder charges since the probe did not find “any evidence” against him, the court was told.
The government’s counter affidavit was in response to a petition filed by a BJP worker from Noida, Sanjay Singh, who had alleged that he was being “falsely implicated” in Akhlaq’s murder. Singh, whose sons is also an accused in the case, had asked for the investigation to be handed over to the CBI and a stay order on proceedings in the case pending with the sessions court in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
The matter was heard by the division Bench of Justices Raghvendra Kumar and Ajai Lamba who have fixed May 4 as the next date of hearing in the matter. Additional Advocate General, UP, Imran Ullah confirmed the filing of the counter affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the investigating officer (IO) in the case, sub-inspector Ravindra Kumar (the station officer of Jarcha Police Station), had carried out “a deep-rooted investigation to test the genuineness of the statement of witnesses” and then followed it up with the chargesheet naming the accused. One of them (Sonu), the affidavit claimed, was “not found to be involved” and therefore “exonerated” by the IO who has submitted a detailed report in this regard.
Arguing against the transfer of the case to the CBI, as sought by the petitioner, the government’s affidavit said the chargesheet in the case has been filed and a fast track court of an additional sessions Judge in Gautam Budh Nagar is set to hear it on April 7 (Thursday).
Stating that the petitioner has expressed his “distrust” in the investigation on the ground that chargesheet was submitted without bringing the laboratory report on record, the government said that the report had already been filed while asserting that examining the flesh of an animal in the “brutal murder of a man” cannot have “much relevance”. It added that the IO had “taken into account” the testimony of the eyewitnesses — the injured family members and those whose presence had been fixed at the time of incident.
On the petition claiming “innocence” on part of Singh’s son, the counter affidavit said argued as to why the complainant in the case — Akhlaq’s wife — would implicate an innocent person while giving clean chit to the real accused. The investigation was done “within the ambit of law without being influenced by any political pressure or media coverage”, claimed the affidavit.
It further stated that the deponent has all reasons to believe that by bringing “irrelevant and extraneous facts” into the present investigation, the petitioner (Singh) wants to delay the trial.
The government’s affidavit thus sought to underline that “there appears no occasion to entertain” petitioner Singh’s request and should be “dismissed” by the court. It, however, maintained that the court “no doubt can direct for the investigation on any of the points, which it deems fit and proper, and may also entrust the investigation to any other specific agency, including the CBI”.
On September 28 last year, a mob had beaten Akhlaq, a resident of Bisara village in Dadri, to death over rumours that his family was consuming and storing beef. Akhlaq’s son Danish was severely injured and is recovering from the injuries to the head.
Akhlaq’s wife Ikraman had initially named 10 people, all of whom were arrested within three weeks. Later, based on a statement recorded by Danish and his sister Shaista, police arrested eight more people.