A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a fair investigation and trial on a complaint by a senior citizen who has claimed that he was abused and tortured in an alleged hate crime in Noida in July this year.
The plea, which has also sought initiation of appropriate departmental or punitive proceedings against some police officers of district Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida, Uttar Pradesh) for allegedly failing to comply with the preventive and remedial measures as directed by the top court in one of its earlier verdicts, came up for hearing on Friday before a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar.
The bench said the matter would be heard along with other pending petitions related to the issue of hate speech.
The top court granted liberty to the petitioner to serve advance copy of the plea to the standing counsel Uttar Pradesh and other respondents.
The Delhi-based petitioner has said in his plea that he has been a victim of a “dastardly hate crime” in Noida where he was “abused, tortured and systematically stripped of his dignity” by a group of individuals on July 4 this year.
“The petitioner is constrained to approach this court on account of the special fact that this court has already issued a number of directions regarding prevention and punishment in relation to hate crimes, i.e. people being mob lynched or subjected to mob violence on account of their identity in the Indian social context; and certain further consequential directions are prayed for from this court,” said the plea, filed through advocate Talha Abdul Rahman.
It claimed that despite several representations to the concerned police authorities as well as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), no concrete action has been taken on the petitioner’s complaint regarding the incident.
The plea, which has also sought direction to the state to pay compensation, alleged that the police has sought to dissuade the 62-year-old petitioner from pressing his complaint by “exerting unwarranted pressure” on him and his family members.
Detailing the incident, the petitioner has said he was attacked and many derogatory words related to his “religious identity” were hurled at him.
“The present facts disclose a shocking state of affairs where the petitioner’s status as an equal citizen of India is doubly challenged. First in the hate attack on him, and then secondly in the complete negation of the hate crime and resulting trauma caused to him by the state authorities,” it said, alleging that the petitioner was attacked because of “his beard and ostensible Muslim identity”.
The plea said it is the duty of the police to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice and unfortunately, by not registering FIR immediately and not swinging into immediate action in this case, the concerned police officers have failed to perform their duties.
“The Indian Constitution recognizes the duty of the state to protect individuals. If hate crimes are permitted to occur with impunity, and without prompt legal action, the promise of the Constitution makers will be broken,” it said.
The plea has also sought directions, including to ensure that the petitioner or is family is not intimidated and harassed.
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