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Justice Katju against criminalisation of Akhlaq’s family

New Delhi: Though a year has elapsed since Dadri’s Muhammad Akhlaq was beaten to death by the so-called cow vigilantes on the rumour of keeping beef in his house, instead of taking action against his killers, efforts are being made, on the contrary, to treat his family members as criminals because of which they are being compelled to repeatedly make rounds of courts. Expressing his anger and dissatisfaction over the attitude of courts, Justice Markandey Katju, retired judge of the Supreme Court in his letters to Supreme Court judges has written that ‘you very well know that the cow protectors had beaten Akhlaq to death in Dadri but instead of punishing the perpetrators of the crime, police and local judge have started taking action against Akhlaq’s family members. He further wrote that he is sorry but he cannot maintain silence over this incident and asked if the police and judges ‘have gone mad’? Expressing his deep anger over Supreme Court judges he wrote in his letter that it cannot be that you will not be aware of this whole incident. Hence, yourselves taking notice of this incident you should have taken action against the local magistrate Vijay Kumar.

Accusing the judges, Justice Katju said that like Bhishm Pitama in Mahabharat they are keeping mum when Daropadi is being undressed. He further wrote in his letter that in this case investigation by police was a mere eye-wash and instead of the real culprits and the conspirators, they (police) implicate family members of the affected person (Akhlaq) ‘but you preferred not to do anything’. He asked ‘is it not hypocrisy?’ He did not stop at this only, and wrote that it must not be forgotten that a case can be filed against judges, as was done after the Second World War when case was filed against judges who had colluded with the Nazi governemnt and were penalised. He also quoted in his letter an extract from Shakespeare’s famous drama Julius Caesar in which Mark Anthony says near the dead body of Caesar ‘oh ye blood-stained corpse, please pardon me for talking and behaving politely with these murderers’, writing further that he is not Mark Anthony nor the person behaving politely with the judges of Supreme Court. Addressing the Supreme Court judges he wrote that he is not going to sit peacefully until and unless the family members of Muhammad Akhlaq get justice. Giving a warning, Justice Katju said that he will demand en masse resignation of judges because they have failed in rendering justice to the family members of Muhammad Akhlaq.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2016 on page no. 15

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