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Justice Chandrachud’s significant remark on Pehlu Khan acquittal

Justice Chandrachud’s significant remark on Pehlu Khan acquittal

“I tell you this is one of the great torments of being a judge because you’ve to decide on basis of evidence, as it stands and then you find that police investigation has been so woefully inadequate that it’s going to result in an acquittal.”

Mumbai: Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud, a Supreme Court judge, on Saturday, said that cases, where courts have been able to monitor the investigation, have “perhaps shown a better outcome”.

“Cases, where courts have been approached with a petition at an appropriate stage and courts, have been able to monitor the investigation, have perhaps shown a better outcome,” Justice Chandrachud said at an event here. He delivered a 50-minute lecture on “Imagining Freedom Through Art” at Oberoi Trident Hotel during which he told that suppressing voice of artists by the government is deplorable.

Talking about the Pehlu Khan case, he added, “I tell you this is one of the great torments of being a judge because you’ve to decide on basis of evidence, as it stands and then you find that police investigation has been so woefully inadequate that it’s going to result in an acquittal.”

Pehlu Khan, a cattle trader, was beaten to death allegedly by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling in Alwar district in 2017.

An Alwar court had on Thursday acquitted all the six accused in the lynching case, giving them the benefit of doubt. However, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the state government will file an appeal against the court’s ruling.

On Friday, the Congress government announced to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe afresh the Alwar lynching case.

It must be noted that an NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has also claimed serious lapses in the police investigations. It noted, “The verdict in the Alwar district court in the Pehlu Khan murder is a severe indictment of grave lapses in police investigation and due process”.

CHRI’s India Executive Board (EC), which includes eminent figures including former Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah said: “There are parts of the judgment which highlight sloppy police investigation and the absence of the effective supervision expected in such a sensitive case.”

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