Hathras Case : Flaws Of Indian Democracy & Indian Laws? Violation Of Fundamental Rights Even After The Death Of The Victim

By Shrungeri Chauhan

A 19 year old Dalit woman was raped and murdered in daylight at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, a village nearly 200km from the national capital Delhi. She along with her mother and brother went to cut grass in the fields on September 14, 2020 and was brutally raped and murdered by four men. She was dragged by her dupatta in the fields where she had been cutting grass. 

She was admitted to Aligarh Medical College then shifted to a hospital in Delhi. 

The police didn’t took immediate measures neither filed an FIR under the crime of sexual assault, even after the family trying to convince the police about the heinous act happened with the victim.The woman’s family has accused the Uttar Pradesh police of not helping them initially but reacting only after public outrage. FIR was filed 9 days after the rape. Why did the police didn’t take action immediately? Were they under the influence of higher authorities? Or they didn’t help the family belonging to the lower caste? Is caste system and discrimination a cause of violation of fundamental rights? 

The heinous crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh sparked nationwide shock and anger and people all over the country demanded justice. 

Doctors who investigated the victim’s body gave details of her injuries which gave shivers down the spine of all the people of the country. 

The UP Police denied the allegations put by the victim’s family and instead mentioned that they were proactive in helping the family. The family also accused the police that the victim’s body was cremated without their consent. The question of fundamental and human rights arise in this situation. The victim was denied the right of equality before law and equal protection of law, in both life and death. The police authorities cremated her body in the dead of the night against the will and consent of her family and the village sealed and isolated not allowing anyone to interfere in the matter. Is there any law allowing police authorities to cremate a person’s body against their family will and consent? Why did the police cremate the body in grave urgency? By law, the dead body is supposed to be handed over to the family of the deceased after post mortem. Does it not amount to the destruction of evidence? 

The Allahabad HC took suo motu cognizance of the case on October 2, 2020, stating that the Hathras Case “have shocked our conscience”. The order passed by a Bench of Justices Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh states, “The incidents which took place after the death of the victim on 29.09.2020 leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience, therefore, we are taking suo moto cognizance of the same.”

The Court further stated that if there has been gross violation of fundamental rights of the deceased victim and the family members of the victim, and police authorities oppressively and illegally violated the rights, then strict actions need to be taken care of for the case and for future guidance. 

The Court questioned the police authorities and called for investigation to give justice to the victim. The Court summoned the family of the victim and various police authorities including ACS Home, DGP, ADG Law & Order, Hathras DM and SP.

The Hathras DM and SP have been suspended by the state government authorities. Chief Minister Adityanath ordered the CBI to look into the matter. 

Will justice be given to the deceased 19 year old woman and to her family? Will the laws in the Indian Constitution punish the accused who dared to do such repugnant crime? 

The news is in transition and justice is yet to be served.  

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