Hathras victim's cremation without family's consent violation of human rights, observes HC

6 days ago 23
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NEW DELHI: The Allahabad

high court

has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government over the midnight cremation of the

Hathras

gang-rape victim without her family's consent and said that the action amounts to "infringement of human rights".
The high court also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to provide full security to the victim's family.
Here are the other important observations made by the high court:
* The decision to cremate the victim in the night without handing over the body to the family members or their consent was taken jointly by the administration at the local level and was implemented on the orders of the District Magistrate, Hathras. This action of the State Authorities, though in the name of law and order situation, is prima facie an infringement upon the human rights of the victim and her family.
* We do not at this stage find any good reason on behalf of the administration as to why they could not hand over the body to the family members for some time, say for even half an hour, to enable them to perform their rituals at home and thereafter to cremate it either in the night or next day.
* Admittedly, though the administration may not have categorically refused the family members to see the face of the deceased but the fact remains that it was not shown to any of them in spite of their repeated requests.
* We have taken note of the statements of Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Government of UP in this regard to lay down certain procedures as guidelines to the district officials for the future in matters involving cremation/burial of the dead in the circumstances with which we are concerned.
*No officer who is not directly connected with the investigation should make any statement in public regarding commission of the offence alleged or otherwise based on evidence collected as it can lead to unnecessary speculation and confusion amongst the masses, who may not be aware of niceties of law thereby fuelling emotions on both sides.
* No one should indulge in character assassination of the victim just as the accused should not be pronounced guilty before a fair trial. The investigating agency and the Courts should be allowed to determine these issues.
* It is further provided that the inquiry/investigation which is being carried-on in the matter, either by the SIT or by any other agency such as CBI, be kept in full confidentially and no report or post thereof is leaked out in the public.
* Without in any manner intending to interfere with the right of freedom of expression, we request the media as also the political parties to air their views in a manner which does not disturb social harmony and/or infringe upon rights of the victim's family and that of the accused. No one should indulge in character assassination of the victim just as the accused should not be pronounced guilty before a fair trial.

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