Ranchi (ILNS): Reacting to another horrific case of the murder of a minor girl and the subsequent inaction and ineffectiveness of the police, the Jharkhand High Court has observed that Hathras wasn’t just a place in Uttar Pradesh, but exists in Jharkhand as well. The court was referring to the brutal killing of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras that has enraged the country.
The Jharkhand case – it happened in Giridih – was as horrific. The FIR filed by a 15-year old girl’s father Shankar Paswan says that Pintu Paswan, a man who lives in Dhanwar, had sprinkled kerosene on Shankar’s daughter and had set her aflame.
In the chaos and trauma, Pintu had tried to escape by removing the roof tiles, but the family member of Shankar caught him. Adding to the chaos were family members of Pintu, who arrived and wrested Pintu from the clutches of Shankar’s family.
The girl suffered 100 percent burns and succumbed to her injuries.
Having heard details of the FIR, Justice Ananda Sen noted: “I find that the investigation has not been done in a proper manner and no urgency or seriousness has been shown by the present investigator (police)…”
The counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the police were not investigating the allegations leveled in the FIR properly. He further said that the accused persons, who are named in the FIR, are roaming freely in the village, being emboldened by the inaction of the police.
The Superintendent of Police, Giridih, submitted before the court that the police were taking appropriate action and are investigating the case. He further submitted that they are also looking into the angle as to whether the case is about honor killing.
However, the bench observed: “I have gone through the case diary, which suggests how the investigation proceeded, (and) that too in a very casual manner.
“Surprisingly enough, I don’t find anything to suggest that the police have ever made an attempt to arrest the named accused persons,” the bench stated in its order.
The bench directed the constitution of an SIT and stated: “I think this is a fit case where a Special Investigating Team (SIT) should be constituted. I, therefore, direct the Director-General of Police, Jharkhand, to immediately constitute an SIT to investigate the case being Dhanwar P.S. Case No. 63 of 2020.”
The bench further stated: “This heinous incident needs an immediate and proper investigation to bring to light the correct fact and to book the real accused persons. The way the investigation proceeded is absolutely unsatisfactory. No seriousness is shown by the investigating officer, nor even by the supervising authority in this case. The urgency is absolutely lacking. This court cannot keep its eyes shut and ignore this type of lackluster and shoddy investigation. Seriousness and urgency ought to have been shown by the investigating authorities. They have miserably failed as there is no substantial progress in the investigation even after a lapse of six months.”
The bench has directed the Director-General of Police to monitor the investigation from time to time and ensure completion of investigation at the earliest without any delay.
In his writ application, the petitioner had also prayed for action against the culprits who are free and threatening the family. He also requested the court to remove the lock from his house that has been closed illegally on the pretext of investigation for the last four months.
-India Legal Bureau