New Delhi: In a significant development, the Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday ordered to dismiss the FIR and a charge-sheet filed against Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, his two sons and a driver.
While passing the order to cancel the FIR, the court ruled that the documents clearly indicate that Pehlu Khan had purchased the cattle for dairy purpose and not for slaughtering purpose.
Appearing for deceased Pehlu Khan, lawyer Kapil Gupta informed that the single bench Justice Pankaj Bhandari ordered the quashing of the FIR and the charge-sheet filed against the four people in the cow smuggling case.
Earlier, the Rajasthan Police had filed charge-sheet against Pehlu Khan, his two sons and the driver of the vehicle in which the cows were being transported, when the Vasundhara Raje government was in power.
The development from Rajasthan High Court comes two weeks after the state government filed an appeal in the Court challenging the acquittal of six accused by a lower court in connection with the lynching of Pehlu Khan in 2017.
The incident came to limelight when Khan on April 1 in 2017 was beaten up by self-styled cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on the Delhi-Alwar highway. He had succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital two days later.
Following the incident, two FIRs were filed in the case – one against the attackers and the other accusing Khan and his sons with allegedly transporting cattle without requisite permissions.
To probe the matter, a special investigation team (SIT) had been set up and had it had identified lapses and irregularities in the police investigation in the lynching case. It had in September submitted its report to the Rajasthan government. The SIT was constituted as per the order of the state government after a Rajasthan court on August 14 acquitted all six men accused of lynching Pehlu Khan on the benefit of the doubt.
On August 14, Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot had blamed the BJP’s rule for the acquittal of all six accused in the lynching case after the court gave them benefit of doubt.
Ashok Gehlot said that the negligence by the earlier (BJP) government in the Pehlu Khan case can not be imagined which paved the way for the benefit of the doubt.
“Pehlu Khan case (2017 Alwar lynching) was discussed, the negligence by the earlier government cannot be imagined, that is why accused were given the benefit of doubt by the court and were acquitted,” said the Rajasthan CM.