Rajasthan police clarified that Alwar mob lynching victim Pehlu Khan’s name was dropped from the charge sheet – filed against him and his sons for cow smuggling – after his death.
According to the Delhi High Court in a 1999 case, a dead person can be named as an accused in a charge sheet since they may have been involved in an alleged offence. However, they cannot be tried.
Khan was beaten to death on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway in Alwar in April 2017 while he and his sons were bringing cattle bought from a fair in Jaipur to their home in Haryana's Nuh.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE CHARGE SHEET
Inspector General of Police (Jaipur Range), S Sengathir, told The Indian Express that Pehlu Khan was indeed accused of offences under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 in the nine-page charge sheet.
Alwar SP, on Saturday, 29 June, said that Pehlu Khan’s name was exclusively dropped from the charge sheet after his death. But the charge sheet, prepared on 30 December 2018, days after the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government took charge in Rajasthan, accuses Khan’s sons under various sections of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995.
The owner of the pick-up truck used to transport the animals has also been reportedly named in the charge sheet.
“After complete investigation in the matter, offences under section 5, 8, 9 RBA Act has been proved against accused Irshad, Aarif and Pehlu Khan while offences under Section 6 RBA Act has been proved against accused Khan Mohammed,” states the current charge sheet. Section 6 makes the transporter an abettor liable for the same punishment.
Two FIRs were filed in the case. While one was against eight people for mob lynching, the other was against Khan and his sons for transporting cattle without due permission from the administration. The eight accused of mob lynching are out on bail.
WHAT DID CM ASHOK GEHLOT SAY?
In a series of tweets however, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said that the news reported in The Indian Express is incorrect. He stressed that the Congress is "ideologically committed against any kind of lynching anywhere in the country.”
He added that “This is a separate case which was registered and investigated under previous government in 2017-18 against (Khan's sons) Mr Arif, Mr Irshad and Mr Khan Mohd (Transporter).”
WHAT DID PEHLU KHAN’S SONS SAY?
Speaking to ANI, Irshad Khan, Pehlu Khan’s son, said, “I heard from lawyers that a charge sheet has been filed against me. We were hoping for justice, but instead we are the victims of a double-injustice now (sic)”
“We lost our father in the attack by cow vigilantes and now we have been charged as cow smugglers. We had hoped that the new Congress government in Rajasthan will review and withdraw the case against us but now a charge sheet has been filed against us. We hoped for justice after the government change but that didn’t happen.”Khan’s eldest son Irshad to The Indian Express
Arjun, the truck driver was also attacked by the mob that day. The same charge sheet also named truck owner Jagadish Prasad and charged him under section 6 of the Act.
HOW DID THE OPPOSTION REACT?
Commenting on the news, Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi said the Congress party's double standards have been exposed
(With inputs from The Indian Express)