Hapur lynching: SC to hear plea for SIT probe

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New Delhi, Aug 7: The Supreme Court will hear on August 13 a plea for a court-monitored SIT probe into the lynching of cattle trader Qasim by cow vigilantes in Hapur in Uttar Pradesh in June.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the plea as lawyer Vrinda Grover mentioned the matter before a bench, which included Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee.

Petitioner Samayuddin, who was also beaten up mercilessly during the lynching of Qasim at Bajhera village in Hapur district on June 18, also pleaded for cancellation of bail granted to the accused.

The petitioner contended that the Uttar Pradesh Police had ignored the top court’s direction to curb lynchings.

The Supreme Court had on July 17 issued 22 guidelines to the central and state governments to put an end to the “horrendous acts” of vigilantism, lynching and mobocracy and directed them to work in tandem to take “preventive, remedial and punitive measures”.

The top court had said that it was the duty of the State to “ensure that the machinery of law and order functions efficiently and effectively in maintaining peace so as to preserve our quintessentially secular ethos and pluralistic social fabric in a democratic set-up governed by the rule of law.”

Of the 22 guidelines, 12 dealt with preventive steps, nine with remedial measures and one punitive action against police officers found wanting at any stage — prevention, investigation and expeditious trial.

The departmental action “shall be taken to its logical conclusion preferably within six months”, the court had said.

The court had also suggested that Parliament enact a law categorising lynching and other forms of vigilantism as a distinct offence and providing for adequate punishment.