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Kathua Rape Case: SC Issues Notice To J&K Seeking Response To Talib Hussain's Custody

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| August 8 , 2018 , 14:11 IST

The Supreme Courton Wednesday issued a notice to Jammu and Kashmir seeking a response in the Habeas Corpus petition alleging custodial torture of Talib Hussain.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Dipak Misra along with Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud was hearing the matter.

Talib’s Cousin has filed a petition alleging third-degree custodial torture was inflicted by police on Hussain for his efforts in securing justice for Kathua rape victim. Senior Advocare Indira Jaising along with Advocate Sunil Fernandes represented the petitioner.

The bench asked Senior Advocate Jaising that how a habeas corpus could lie since Talib is in lawful custody and was also produced before the magistrate.

Jaising replied, “Whether the custody is legal or illegal is not what I am asking your Lordships to look into. My argument is that custodial torture is unlawful even if the custody is lawful. State has the right to hold a person in custody but has an equal duty to protect that person and not inflict any torture on that person.”

After issuing a notice to the state, the court scheduled August 21 as the next date for hearing the matter.

Talib Hussain, a key witness in the Kathua Rape case, was allegedly assaulted in the police custody on Monday.

Why Was Hussain Arrested?

Talib Hussain is social activist who led a campaign against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in the state’s Kathua district in January. He also demanded the apex court to transfer the case out of Kathua, but on the contrary, Hussain was arrested by the Samba police in August for sexually assaulting one of his relatives.

The Samba police has slapped a FIR No 211/2018 under Section 376 RPC, 4/25 Arms Act against him. The arrest was made by a team of Samba Police from Tral area and he. The FIR was filed in the PS Samba by one of the relatives of Talib Hussian.

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What is The Kathua Rape & Murder Case

In January this year, an 8-year-old girl who was taking her horses to pasture in Kathua was kidnapped and force-fed sedatives for a period of days while she was gang-raped, before she was brutally murdered and had her head bashed in. The incident came to light months later and shocked the nation.

The Conviction

The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch has arrested custodian of a temple where the child was allegedly confined, his son Vishal and his juvenile nephew, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias ‘Dipu’ and Surender Verma and friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu.

All of them were named in the first charge sheet on April 9. It also arrested head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. Raj and Dutta have since been dismissed from service.

Supreme Court Supervision

Earlier this month, the investigation agency informed the Supreme Court that it would be submitting a supplementary charge sheet in the case. The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, had on July 9 given the CBI, eight weeks to file the document.

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The district and sessions court in Pathankot framed charges of rape and murder against the seven accused in the case on June 8, after the Supreme Court transferred the case from Kathua on a plea of victim’s family. Ram, considered the main accused, is alleged to have plotted the conspiracy with the other accused for kidnapping the girl as part of a strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.