HC dismisses petition seeking trial of accused outside Kashmir
DySP Ayub Pandith lynching case…
Srinagar, Jan 08: In the lynch mob murder case of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) in 2017 at Nowhatta, the J&K High Court has dismissed a petition seeking trial of the accused in a court outside Kashmir.
Justice Rashid Ali Dar, after hearing the matter observed “I do not find the material placed on record sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of the court and to transfer the case to any other court outside the valley at this time.”
He accordingly ordered dismissal of the application by the government filed through Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic, Srinagar.
The judgment, however, shall not prevent the petitioner or any other interested party from moving an application afresh in case there is any material available for revisiting of the view taken by the bench and transfer of case to any other court.
On June 22, 2017, during the holy night of Laylat-al-Qadr, a mob shouting pro-Al Qaida slogans had lynched to death Dy SP Muhammad Ayub Pandith and mutilated his body.
The petitioner sought withdrawal of the case from the court of 4th Additional District & Sessions Judge, Srinagar, to any court of competent jurisdiction at Jammu.
The grounds taken for the move were that during the trial prosecution is confronted with some very serious developments. It said some elements along with the accused persons and their relatives are creating difficulties at their place of lodgements as well as on their way to the court for hearing.
“This generates trouble and difficulties to the members/staff of concerned jail as well during the process of escorting them to the court for hearing,” claimed the petition.
The petition further pleaded that the accused on their production “raise anti-national slogans enroute to court, and also indulge in instigating the locals, resulting in law and order problems”.
Furthermore, ‘the accused within the court premises are gathering hundreds of people who intimidate and threaten the witnesses, thus a fair and impartial trial is impossible in the case,” it said.
The petitioner said the witnesses are feeling afraid to testify before the court on being frightened and threatened by various quarters at the behest of the accused persons and their sympathizers.
He added that the SHOs of Police Station Rainawari and Batamaloo and Nowhata have submitted that the witnesses, investigating officer and members of Special Investigation Team are being intimidated.
He said they are threatened of dire consequences due to which there is every apprehension that the witnesses may be forced to turn hostile.
Advocates Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and N.A.Ronga, representing the respondents, termed the petition as “full of lies, fabricated facts and a concocted story”.
There are CCTV cameras installed all over the Valley including the Central Jail, Srinagar and other jails, so all the facts whatever have been submitted and stated in the instant transfer application should be gathered and retrieved from the CCTV footage, they said.
The trial of the respondents is being unnecessarily dragged and protracted by the government, they added.