Murthal ‘gangrapes’: HC asks Haryana for call details of key officers
The details have been sought to ascertain the role of these officials, arguing that half an hour after the ‘rapes’, senior officers showed up at Sukhdev Dhaba, an eatery on the Chandigarh–Delhi highway, and escorted the victims to the Delhi border.india Updated: Feb 22, 2018 17:35 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday asked the Haryana government to supply the call details with tower locations of key Haryana government officers posted in Sonepat at the time of the alleged Murthal gangrapes in February 2016, during the pro-quota stir by Jats in the state.
The high court division bench of justice AK Mittal and justice AS Grewal issued this directive during the resumed hearing of a suo motu petition initiated by the court in February 2016, following a news-report on the alleged rapes in a prominent English daily. The special investigation team (SIT) probing the FIR registered by the Haryana police in March 2016 has hit a dead end as it hasn’t been able to find any victim or witness.
As the hearing began on Thursday, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, informed that he had got call detail records of then Inspector general of police (IGP), superintendent of police (SP), deputy commissioner (DC), deputy superintended of police (DSP) and station house officer SHO Murthal (Sonepat), for the period between February 19/20 and February 22. However, the details did not have tower locations of the cellular operators, thus making it an exercise in ‘futility’. He also sought call details of two more officers.
Later, the court directed the Haryana government to provide cellular tower location details with call records of all the officers in question besides call details of two more officials – then DSP (traffic), Sonepat, Sushil Kumar, and then SDM, Nishant Kumar Yadav.
Gupta had sought these details to ascertain the role of these officials, arguing that half an hour after the ‘rapes’, senior officers showed up at Sukhdev Dhaba, an eatery on the Chandigarh–Delhi highway, and escorted the victims to the Delhi border.
Gupta is now pressing for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. On some occasions, the court too has observed that if it remained dissatisfied with Haryana’s investigation, the probe would be handed over to the CBI.
The hearing will now take place on April 18. Thursday’s hearing was a brief one as senior advocate, Supreme Court, Tushar Mehta, who appears on behalf of the Haryana government, was not available.
First Published: Feb 22, 2018 17:35 IST