New Delhi, Mar 19: The Supreme Court stayed the trial of the Haryana mob lynching case in which 17-year-old Junaid Khan was stabbed to death on a train in June last year and agreed to examine his father's plea seeking a CBI probe into the incident.
The father of victim said that investigation by the Haryana police was so "manipulated" as to give it the shape of a conflict or a clash rather than a "sinister one-sided hate attack on helpless victims". A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and M M Shantanagoudar issued notice to the Centre, Haryana and the CBI on the plea and stayed the proceedings in the case before the Faridabad trial court till further orders.
Junaid, who had boarded a Mathura-bound train from Delhi on June 22 last year, was allegedly stabbed to death when the train was nearing Ballabgarh in Haryana. He was returning home to Khandawali village along with his brothers and cousins after shopping in Delhi for Eid. His body was dumped near Asaoti village in Faridabad district.
Junaid's father has challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court's November 27 last year's order that had said there was no substance in the petition to indicate that the investigation was tainted or shoddy. The high court had said that there appeared to be no "deliberate attempt" to derail the investigation in the matter and the case had no "national or international ramifications".
Senior advocate R S Cheema and advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for Jalalludin, said the investigating agency has carried out a "seemingly casual" and "shoddy investigation" in the matter. R S Cheema alleged that the power and functions of investigation "have been subverted in a calculated manner" to protect the accused by accusing them only of bailable offences. "As a result, four of the accused have been granted bail by the trial court. The accused were not booked by the investigating agency for hate crime offences, which is evident from the sequence of events. Major offences of murder and attempt to murder was slapped on only one accused," R S Cheema said. He said the accused were not booked for section 153A, 153B (promoting enmity between groups) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of IPC as prior sanction has to be given by the state government.
Cheema said the probe agency deliberately acted with "undue haste" because the crime had "attracted huge nationwide outcry" and the investigation was so managed as to "minimise the damage to the marauders and to ensure that most of them are released on bail and face no serious trial at all". "The true nature of the crime has been subjected to cover up.
The conduct of the named accused and others as a lynching mob has been concealed. It has been projected as if the occurrence/events were sudden, without any element of perpetrators having been acted as in conspiracy or as an unlawful assembly," the victim's father plea said. It said that the "maximum artistry" and manipulation was made to weaken the statements of witnesses on the point of identity of various accused on their real role and their having acted in concert.
"That close association of assailants with each other as daily passengers or as villagers or otherwise was strictly held back so as to cover up the involvement of an unlawful assembly and to ensure that the element of conspiracy behind the crime does not come to the surface," the plea said.