New Delhi, Jan 9: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the CBI on a plea of the father of deceased Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania against the trial court's order to drop charges under the SC/ST Act against the accused.
Nido Tania's father Nido Pavitra, a Congress legislator from Arunachal Pradesh, earlier moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court's order. Justice Manmohan Singh sought response from the CBI, Tihar Central Jail superintendent and four accused by April 22.
The court issued notice to the jail superintendent as main accused Farman is lodged in the jail. He was not granted bail. Other three accused are out on bail.
Nido was allegedly beaten with iron rods and sticks after a fight with a shopkeeper and other men in South Delhi's Lajpat Nagar market, which eventually resulted in his death. Nido's death evoked angry reactions from the people of the northeast living in the national capital, who alleged police had failed to protect the young lad.
The trial court Sep 25, 2014, dropped charges of violations of the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act against the accused, saying the prosecution failed to establish that it was a case of "racial slur".
Even if Nido belonged to any such caste, this fact was not known to any of the accused, the court said.
Advocate Prashant Mendiratta appearing for Nido's father told the court that having perceived that Nido Tania belonged to a Scheduled Tribe, the accused relentlessly mocked him for no reason while he was just making an enquiry to find his way to an address.
Delhi Police had slapped murder charges against the four attackers
"A perusal of the FIR and the statement of the eyewitness to the assault - Lokam Lulu - brings out that the solitary reason why the deceased (Nido Tania) was singled out and assaulted by the accused people was because from his facial feature, which marked him as someone from the northeast of the country, the accused people perceived the deceased to be 'chinki' (in their words) and, therefore, belonging to a Scheduled Tribe," the plea said.
"This was the root cause of the violent and vicious animosity of the accused people against the deceased," added the plea.
Seeking that the trial court order be set aside, Nido's father said even the subsequent assaults and the words used by the accused during the assaults bear out the fact that the main reason for his son becoming the subject of the accused people's hatred and ire was that he belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
"The SC/ST Act was promulgated precisely to prevent and punish such caste motivated atrocities which have no place in contemporary society. The entire purpose of the legislation would stand defeated if the hyper technical view adopted by the trial court is sustained," the plea added.
Delhi Police, who were earlier probing the case, had slapped murder charges against the four attackers, accused in the case, after Nido Tania's post-mortem examination report revealed he died of head and facial injuries caused by a blunt object.
Police also slapped the attackers with charges under the SC/ST Act. The case was later transferred to the CBI.
The maximum punishment under SC/ST Act is life imprisonment. While filing the charge sheet, the CBI dropped murder charges against the accused, saying the killing was not premeditated but a result of an altercation over the breaking of a glass counter at a shop in the market.
The four have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and common intent. Three minors, who had also allegedly assaulted Nido Tania, are facing an inquiry before the Juvenile Justice Board.