Murthal ‘gangrapes’: Does Haryana have a different CrPC- questions high court

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Whether Haryana has some different Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or the same being followed in other parts of country, the question was raised by the division bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday. The bench was hearing a PIL initiated after taking cognizance of media reports regarding alleged gangrapes in Murthal during the Jat quota agitation on February 21-22 night.

The bench questioned the state whether they had case diaries etc of statements recorded of various persons contacted by them. As the state told HC that it did not have the same, the court observed that laid down procedure was not followed in probing the matter

What is legislative sanction of the order (whereby SIT, headed by DIG Rajshri Singh was constituted, the bench questioned the state and said that entire exercise seemed to be eyewash only.

Earlier during the arguments, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, the amicus curie lambasted the state for making claims that nobody was coming forward to give details of alleged incidents of gangrapes took place during the protest in Murthal. Gupta stated that while state was in denial mode, a Patparganj (Delhi) resident met him and narrated what he saw. “Why his statement was not recorded when the SIT team visited him? Why FIR was not registered on the reports?, Gupta questioned, adding  “rape they think … it is ultimate Kalank (scar). Hence, should be denied,” Gupta said that the state collapsed and criminals had a free run during the agitation. Gupta also read out contents of reports by a Delhi based portal, Firstpost, wherein it had carried ordeals of some of the reported victims.

Gupta said that the state deliberately chose to record statements of dhaba owners and others, who obviously would not go against the state due to their business interests. Gupta also questioned as to how state termed the clothes found near Murthal that of a nomadic tribe, without proper investigation.

“Can this be solved by establishing a helpline? Who would go to public with rape incident? Could we expect a girl, who has to tomorrow get married to go to police with it?” he questioned adding that it was the duty of the police to chase the complainants and collect evidence.

Expressing its dissatisfaction over the manner in which the investigation was ordered and further proceedings initiated by the Haryana government into reports of alleged gangrapes, the high court hinted at giving the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

HC on Muruthal rapes

After hearing the arguments, the division bench of Justice SS Saron and Justice Gurmit Ram observed, “We (court) want you to do it (probe). But it is because of you we are agreeing with him (amicus curiae),” while referring to submissions of Anupam Gupta (amicus curiae), who was seeking CBI probe questioning the manner in which the state dealt with the reports of alleged gangrapes in Murthal. Later, case was adjourned for April 4 and the bench made it clear that it would hear the matter on said date whether the case should be transfer to CBI or not.

The bench orally directed the state to not to cancel any FIR registered so far and also observed that it wanted action against the police officials, who failed to perform their duty during agitation.

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