THE Supreme Court on Friday sought a status report from the State of Maharashtra regarding the investigation into Palghar mob lynching of three persons, including two sadhus.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha seeking a direction to constitute a judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the apex court or an SIT monitored by it. Alternately, the petitioner prayed for transferring the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to be monitored by the apex court.
In addition, he prayed for the transfer of the trial from Palghar, Maharashtra to Fast Track Court of Saket Court, Delhi or any other fast track court in Delhi and also to register an FIR against the concerned police officials under relevant provisions of IPC;
A two-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna asked the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition on the standing counsel for the State of Maharashtra and the response thereto would be filed within four weeks.
In his plea, Jha asserted “despite a complete lockdown, the said incident of lynching took place in presence of police officials, which took away the lives of three people who were under police protection. This is a shame on society and is against the Right to life guaranteed to the citizens of this nation under Article 21”.
According to reports, Sushil Giri and Kalpavriksh Giri, belonging to a sect of Sadhus, were going to attend a funeral when they along with the driver of their car were attacked by an unruly mob on suspicion that they were thieves. The Maharashtra police in connection with the lynching of three persons arrested over a hundred people.
On April 21, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to the State Government seeking a detailed report within four weeks including action taken against the culprits and relief, if any, granted to the Next of Kin of the deceased persons.
In its notice, NHRC had noted, “the Commission has observed that the incident is apparently indicative of negligence by the public servants. The death of three persons in such a cruel manner by the unruly mob that too during the countrywide lockdown, under extra vigil by the administration and police, amounts to gross violation of the right to life of the victims”.