Mumbai: Justice DY Chandrachud, often seen as the ‘voice of dissent’ in the Supreme Court, on Saturday opined on the verdict in the 2017 Alwar lynching case, which saw all 6 accused being acquitted by a lower court which gave them ‘benefit of doubt’.
Speaking to news agency ANI on the sidelines of the Literature Live Independence Day lecture in Mumbai on Saturday, the senior apex court judge said that one of the biggest torments of being a judge is that one has to decide on the basis of evidence and then one finds that the police investigation has been so inadequate that the case is going to result in an acquittal.
Justice Chandrachud further said that the cases in which courts have been approached with a petition at an appropriate time and the ones in which courts have monitored the investigation, have perhaps shown better outcomes.
In a verdict that sent shockwaves across the country, an Alwar court on Wednesday had acquitted all 6 accused in the case, giving them a ‘benefit of doubt’, finding glaring lapses in the police probe. The state’s Congress government, however, decided to appeal against the verdict and is likely to move the Rajasthan High Court. It has also constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case afresh.
The move has given Pehlu Khan’s family a renewed hope of justice. They appreciated the government’s decision to set up the SIT but are determined to appeal against the verdict before the Rajasthan High Court.
Pehlu Khan, a cattle trader, was beaten to death allegedly by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling in Alwar, in April 2017. The deadly assault was caught on camera, however, as it turned out, it was not enough to ensure justice.
Earlier this month, Rajasthan became the second state after Manipur to have an anti-mob lynching law after the state Assembly passed the The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019.