Hathras case: Allahabad HC issues notice in habeas corpus petition of alleged PFI members

The two activists and driver were detained on their way to meet the Hathras victim’s family and were charged under UAPA

Image Courtesy:freepressjournal.in

Allahabad High Court has issued notice to the central government as well as UP Police in the habeas Corpus petition of 3 alleged members of the Popular Front of India (PFI), who were arrested on their way to Hathras as they were going to meet the family of the family of the deceased rape victim. Atikur Rahman, a student, Alam, a cab driver and Masud, an activist were apprehended and arrested by the Deputy Superintendent of Police on October 5.

Their bail applications were rejected by Mathura Court on November 13 stating that their bail is embargoed under section 43-D (5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). They were all arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police after a laptop and some ‘objectionable’ literature relating to ‘Justice for Hathras Victim’ was allegedly recovered from their possession while they were en route to Hathras. It is alleged that they are linked with Popular Front of India’s (PFI) student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) and were traveling from Delhi.

A bench of Justices Pritinker Diwaker and SC Sharma has issued notices to the Central government, State of UP, Superintendent of Jail (District Jail, Mathura) and Prabal Pratap Singh (Sub-Inspector, PS Maant- the complainant).

The accused were charged under sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc), 124A (sedition), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of Indian penal Code; Sections 17 (raising funds for terrorist act) and 18 (conspiracy) of UAPA; and section 65 (Tampering with computer source documents), 72 (Penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy) and 75 (Act to apply for offence or contravention committed outside India) of the IT Act

The plea filed by the 3 accused challenges the order of judicial remand and challenges the jurisdiction of Magistrate Court to issue the same as offences under the UAPA are to be tried by a special court. The plea contends that the two accused being social activists were going to meet the bereaved family and Alam, the taxi driver was ferrying them to the destination. It is argued that the FIR was lodged as an afterthought as the police realised that their detention was unlawful.

The pleas states, “the petitioners are unfortunate victims and scapegoats of the high-handed of the police authorities. They have committed no offence which is clear from a bare perusal of the sections slapped on them and the allegations in the FIR which are completely false and bogus and no case as against them is made out”.

The petitioner is the father-in-law of Atiku r Rahman, Shakhavat Khan who pleads that the writ be issued quashing the remand order of CJM Mathura and that the FIR also be quashed. An interim relief has also been sought for interim bail and permission to interact with lawyers and family members. Interestingly, the petition also urges that the District Judge, Mathura, be directed to visit the Mathura District jail to inquire into the human rights violations in the jail premises, if any, and submit a report before the High Court, as reported by LiveLaw.

The court has set the date for next hearing on December 14.

The order may be read here.


Hathras case: Mathura court rejects bail plea of two CFI members and driver
Hathras case: Mathura court reserves bail order of three charged for sedition
We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions: Chief Justice of India



Related Articles