The Uttar Pradesh Government has put its weight behind the District Magistrate of Hathras Praveen Kumar Laxkar whose role in the late-night cremation of the dead body of the Hathras alleged gang-rape victim, is under question.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju appearing for the UP government told the High Court that the government had decided not to transfer the DM Praveen Kumar because it believed a political game was being played out with the transfer of the district magistrate being made into a political issue with the oblique motive of exerting political pressure on the government.
The government insisted there was no question of the district magistrate tampering with the evidence relevant to the investigation.
ASG Raju also told the court that the security of the family was now in the hands of the C.R.P.F. state government and its authorities had no involvement in it.
Besides, the investigation itself was being conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and here too the state government had no role to play. The ASG also attempted to justify the cremation of the victim at night to contend that the district magistrate did not commit any wrong in this regard.
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Though these submissions were made during the hearing of the matter on November 25, a record of the proceedings were made available by the Court only yesterday.
The High Court has been consistently questioned whether it was proper to allow Praveen Kumar Laxkar to continue as DM Hathras as the proceedings relating to the late-night cremation of the 19-year-old Scheduled Caste alleged gang-rape victim, in which he had had a role to play, was still pending.
A bench Justices Pankaj Mithal and Rajan Roy adjourned the matter to December 16.
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The bench also asked the UP government to ascertain whether any member of the Hathras rape victim’s family had been promised a job and provide it with the status of the same.
Earlier, the court had directed the CBI to file a status report with regard to the ongoing investigation before the next date. It also sought from the CBI an indication of the approximate time it would take to complete the investigation.
Read the Order
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.