The Haryana government Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the family of Junaid Khan, the 15-year-old boy who was killed by a mob on a Mathura-bound train in June, wants a “compromise” in the murder case and is seeking “two crore rupees and three acres of land” from the accused to settle the matter.
Junaid’s family, however, rejected the government’s claim, saying it was a “rumour” and an “attempt to put pressure on us”. In the High Court too, the family counsel objected to the “compromise” claim made by Additional Advocate General Deepak Sabharwal, representing the state. Observing that many arguments are made in court, Justice Rajan Gupta said “this court has not even taken (it) on note” and the case will be decided with “utmost solemnity”.
Sabharwal made the claim during arguments on a plea by Junaid’s family members who have sought a CBI probe into the attack and a stay on proceedings in the trial court in Faridabad. The family has alleged that the Haryana police diluted charges against the accused in the case. “They (Junaid’s family) want to compromise. The security provided to them was returned, and now two gunmen have again been deputed for their safety. He (Junaid’s father) has also refused to accept summons from the police,” Sabharwal told the bench. Sabharwal said he had received oral instructions in this regard from a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) that the family wants to delay trial court proceedings and wants to take money to reach a compromise.
Senior advocate R S Cheema, representing the family, objected. “These are slanderous allegations. I did not want to sensationalise the case… A man has lost his son. It (the statement) is adding insult to injury.” He said “illegal panchayats” were forcing the family to resile from their stand in courts.
Later, speaking to The Indian Express over phone, a member of Junaid’s family denied the government’s claim and said they have already taken the matter to court and will abide by its decision. “Panchayat and people from the villages of accused wanted a compromise, saying ‘bhai chara bana rahega’ (brotherhood will prevail). But we have already turned it down. The claim of seeking money is just a rumour. They want to put pressure on us,” the family member, who did not wish to be named, said.
Cheema told the bench that the statements of the accused have been recorded in such a manner that the accused will “go scot free”. “Everything was tampered with. This is a bad investigation and also motivated,” Cheema claimed. He said “the whole episode is communal… polarisation is being created”.
In its defence, the government said none of the accused had been named in the FIR and police had to unearth the case from scratch. “Investigation started and real culprits got hold of… they have not moved even a single application to any senior official regarding any dissatisfaction. Protection is also provided to them,” Sabharwal said.
During arguments, Cheema said two persons “with home department identity cards” were among the people who attacked Junaid and his cousins but they did not find a mention in the chargesheet submitted by police. “There are missing accused and missing sections (of law) also in the case,” he said. “It is not about one but hundred such things in the case.”
Cheema said IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity on the basis of religion etc.) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) have not been invoked against the accused and all charges framed against them are bailable. “It is primarily a case of conspiracy. Is it not a case where killing is communal? Why do you (state) choose softer charges?” Cheema said.
The bench adjourned the case for further hearing to November 7. The trial court case hearing is slated for November 6. The trial court recently framed charges against main accused Naresh Kumar and Rameshwar Dass among others. The High Court bench said: “Learned State counsel, on instructions from DSP Mohinder Singh, submits that only official witnesses are likely to depose on 06.11.2017. He prays for some time to file reply. Needful be done within 03 days. To come up for further hearing on 07.11.2017.”