The Haryana government has challenged the Punjab and Haryana high court order before the Supreme Court whereby the mysterious death case of a Sarahanpur Muslim youth was transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the government was asked to immediately transfer district magistrate, superintendent of police (SP) and deputy superintendent of police (DSP) out of Kurukshetra district.
The high court order had come on a habeas corpus petition (a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court) filed by Tahir Hassan, a Saharanpur resident, whose son went missing in March when he was in Kurukshetra to buy a buffalo. The vehicle in which he and others were carrying the cattle back to Saharapnpur was allegedly attacked by members of Gau Raksha Dal, a right-wing vigilante group. Others managed to flee from the spot, but his son Mustain was allegedly caught by them. His decomposed body was recovered a month later on April 2 in Kurukshetra.
The government made a mention of the matter before the court of chief justice of India TS Thakur on Friday, which allowed the state a hearing during the vacation period. The matter is likely to be taken up by a vacation bench on Tuesday.
It is learnt that the state has argued that the order was passed without taking into account the factual position. The investigation into the case was videographed. But the court neither summoned record nor summoned the officials concerned like SP, DSP etc. The DM was ordered to be transferred who had joined there barely a few days prior to the hearing in case. What has irked the government more is the reference to the investigation into alleged Murthal gangrapes, which was “unwarranted”. There was no prayer for transfer of investigation to any other agency, it was merely a habeas corpus petition, a top law official with the government said.
The high court had hinted at political patronage to the rightwing group and cast aspersions on the officials of the state stating that they “lacked trust”.
While ordering CBI probe and transfer of top officials of district, the high court had recorded that CBI would be at liberty to register a fresh FIR in which it could look into the roles of DM and SP and other police officials. It was also ordered that they should not be posted in the district till the investigation was completed.
The youth had left his home on March 5 to buy a buffalo from Shahbad area and went missing. When he did not return, on March 12, the petitioner father brought the matter before Shahbad police, where he was allegedly abused. Later, on March 16, he approached the high court alleging that his son was in illegal detention of police in Shahbad. The court appointed warrant officer who did not find him there. While the petition was pending, the police recovered body of Mustain from Kurukshetra on April 2 and registered an FIR against the four persons of the vigilante group on the complaint of deceased’s father.