February 10, 2021 1:04:33 am
The District and Sessions court of Alwar has disposed a request for transfer of the 2018 Rakbar lynching case. The application was moved by Rakbar’s mother who had cited lack of trust in the ADJ court which is hearing the case, said the government appointed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Ashok Kumar Sharma on Tuesday.
Sharma said, “Rakbar’s mother Habiban had moved an application in the court of District and Sessions Judge, Alwar, saying I have no hope from the [ADJ] court which is hearing the case. She had claimed that the case has been ‘managed’ by the accused, who have openly told them that “faisla hum humare favour mein kara ke chhorenge (We will ensure the judgment is in our favour).”
The transfer application was moved by Habiban, 73, and Aslam, 32, requesting the District and Sessions Judge Sangeeta Sharma to either take the case herself or transfer it to another court.
Rakbar, 31, was transporting cows on foot in the night between July 20 and 21, 2018, with Aslam Khan when the duo was allegedly stopped by villagers in Lalwandi under Ramgarh police station in Alwar. While Rakbar was beaten to death, Aslam managed to escape. They were headed for their village Kolgaon in Haryana, nearly 12 kilometres from Lalwandi. Rakbar’s death had led to an outcry following which the top police administration of Rajasthan, including the then Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, had visited the spot and ordered a judicial inquiry.
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The District and Sessions Judge “did not decide the application on merit, but said that the court hearing their case is a special designated court, hence she has no powers and disposed of the application,” the SPP said. Habiban’s advocate Mohammad Ishraque said, “Judge Sangeeta Sharma asked us to approach the High Court as the [ADJ] court has been specially set up to hear mob-lynching case and so a transfer of a case is beyond her powers.”
Another application to stay proceedings was moved in the court of Sarita Swami, ADJ, who is hearing the Rakbar case. However, that application was not entertained.
“Since a transfer application was pending in the court of District and Sessions Judge, we had requested her that further proceedings be suspended. However, she did not even entertain the application. She could have either allowed it or declined it,” Ishraque said.
In the transfer plea moved before Sangeeta Sharma, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, Habiban and Aslam say that “since the beginning, the ‘rukh’ (attitude) of the presiding officer has been in favour of the accused, and she favours them during the writing down of evidence.”
They have also claimed that “evidence based prosecution is still going on yet they have come to know that the judgment is already being written.”“Under such circumstances, the applicants have no hope for justice from the ADJ 1 Sarita Swami,” the application reads.
Four persons were arrested in the case.
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