SC seeks J&K’s response on ‘custodial torture’ of Kathua witness

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the Jammu and Kashmir government’s response on a habeas corpus plea in the alleged “custodial torture” of Talib Hussain, a key member in the agitation seeking justice for the Kathua gang rape-murder victim. Hussain was arrested by the state police in the wake of an FIR against him alleging rape.

Hussain’s cousin, who is the petitioner, has alleged that the Kathua justice seeker was being framed for his role in the campaign in support of the eight-year-old victim who was from a nomadic community and who was killed in January.

Read Also, Death Penalty Ordinance for raping a child not linked to Kathua

Issuing notice to the state government, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also sought the assistance of the Advocate General of Jammu and Kashmir. Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Indira Jaising told the court that she was only concerned about the custodial torture and not with any other issues.

Jaising cited several judgements of the top court and that of the US Federal Court contending that even in custody a person enjoys his constitutional rights. The petitioner has contended that Talib Hussain — an activist — was being singled out as he had led the public campaign for justice for the Kathua victim.

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