Friday, March 1, 2024

Public flogging of Muslim men: Supreme Court stays contempt proceedings against Gujarat cops

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the contempt of court proceedings against the four Gujarat Police officers who publicly flogged Muslim men in Kheda district in 2022.

In October 2022, in Gujarat’s Kheda, five Muslims were dragged out in public, tied to a pole and beaten with a stick by the police as a crowd cheered. This comes after police accused them of throwing stones at a garba site near a mosque at Undhela village of Kheda.

A year later, In October 2023, the Gujarat High Court convicted the four policemen for contempt of court orders in the DK Basu judgement of 1996 against police abuse and custodial violence. The four police officers are Inspector AV Parmar, sub-inspector DB Kumavat, constable Rajubhai Rameshbhai Dabhi and head constable Kanaksinh Laxmansinh.

The top court on Tuesday was hearing a plea by the police officials challenging their conviction. The court admitted the appeal by the police officials.

Senior advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for the police officers, told the court that there was no wilful disobedience of the verdict by his clients.

“So you have an authority under law. To tie people to poles and beat them? And take videos?” the court questioned.

Dave said that the officers were already facing criminal prosecution, departmental inquiry and the National Human Rights Commission had also initiated proceedings against them. The division bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta court then accepted the request and stayed the contempt proceedings before the High Court.

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