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‘Vicious cycle’: SC asks UP Police to not to take action against Zubair till July 20

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The Supreme Court on Monday orally remarked that Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair seems to get bail in one case and remanded in another in a “vicious cycle”, as it ordered that no “precipitative action” be taken in 5 FIRs registered against him by the Uttar Pradesh Police until the next hearing on Wednesday.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna issued notice on the plea filed by Zubair seeking to quash the FIRs registered against him by the UP Police and scheduled the matter for further hearing on July 20.

During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud orally remarked “contents of all FIRs seem to be similar. But the problem is the vicious cycle. He gets interim bail in one case but gets arrested for some other case”.

Zubair’s plea was taken up after advocate Vrinda Grover sought urgent hearing on the matter.

She contended that there are now six FIRs in UP — two in Hathras, and one each in Lakhimpur Kheri, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, and Sitapur. She added that as soon as the top court granted relief to her client in Sitapur case, a warrant came in case of Lakhimpur Kheri and pointed out that last week, a Delhi court granted hir bail in Delhi FIR.

Grover said all the FIRs are based on old tweets and that the police now say that they are looking into the larger conspiracy and funding. She submitted that all these issues are already covered by the FIR registered in Delhi and her client’s electronic devices have already been seized.

“This kind of targeting must end. This is an abuse of the process of law,” she said.

After hearing arguments, the bench said: “Since the petition is not on board today, we direct the registry to list the matter on July 20. In the meantime, we direct that no precipitative action whatsoever be taken against the petitioner in 5 FIRs without the leave of the court.”

Zubair moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash six FIRs registered against him by the Uttar Pradesh Police, over his tweets and also sought interim bail in the FIRs. The plea has also challenged the constitution of a special investigative team (SIT) to probe these cases.

On July 12, the Supreme Court extended the interim bail it granted to Zubair in the case registered against him at Sitapur.

The top court has listed the matter for final disposal on September 7. The bench noted that the state government seeks time to file a counter affidavit and allowed the government to file a reply within 4 weeks and rejoinder within 2 weeks thereafter. “Interim bail in Sitapur FIR case shall continue till further orders. List for final disposal on September 7, 2022,” the bench said.

Crime

Custodial death reported from J&K’s Kathua

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A man died in police custody in J&K’s Kathua district on Tuesday with his family alleging that he was tortured in the lockup.

Jammu, Feb 7 : A man died in police custody in J&K’s Kathua district on Tuesday with his family alleging that he was tortured in the lockup.

Official sources said that Sonu Kumar, 38, was arrested and 7 grams of contraband heroin was recovered from him. He was sent to lockup in Nagri police post.

“He body was shifted for medico-legal formalities to government medical college hospital in Kathua town,” an official said, adding that two policemen of Nagri police post have been placed under suspension till the report of the probe ordered into this dead is received.

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Forceful removal of innerwear of minor girls equivalent to rape: Calcutta HC

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Forceful removal of the innerwear of a minor girl is equivalent to rape even if rape, as per medical terms, has not been done by the accused or convict, the Calcutta High Court has held.

Kolkata, Feb 7 : Forceful removal of the innerwear of a minor girl is equivalent to rape even if rape, as per medical terms, has not been done by the accused or convict, the Calcutta High Court has held.

A single judge bench of Justice Ananya Bandopadhyay made this ruling while hearing a case in which Robi Roy was declared as guilty by a lower court in West Dinajpur district in 2008.

On May 7, 2007, Roy was acccused of alluring a minor girl in his locality to a secluded place after promising her an ice cream. There he first asked her to remove her innerwear. When the victim refused, he forcefully removed her innerwear.

The victim started shouting which caught the attention of the people residing nearby, who rushed to spot, assaulted Robi Roy and handed him over to the local police. In November 2008, a trial court, finding him guilty, sentenced him to imprisonment for five and a half years and also slapped a Rs 3,000 fine on him.

After being freed from jail, he challenged the order of the lower district court at the Calcutta High Court claiming that he was falsely implicated which caused loss of his social prestige. He claimed that his intention was to express his fatherly affection towards the victim. Justice Bandopadhyay, however, upheld the order of the lower court and observed that the intention of alluring the victim with ice-cream had mal-intention.

“The victim was allured with ice-cream by the convict just to satisfy his sexual desires. When the victim refused to open her innerwear as asked by the convict, he forcefully removed that. This cannot be treated as an expression of affection. This is equivalent to rape or attempt to rape,” Justice Bandopadhyay observed. Although medical examination proved that that the minor girl was not a victim of rape, the judge observed that the entire incident is similar to rape of sexual offense under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.

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RS extends condolences to earthquake victims in Turkey, Syria

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 The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday paid condolences to the victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.

Leading the house, Chairman Jagdeep Shankar said that the house wishes that those who are still in the rubbles are rescued.

On Tuesday, India dispatched the first batch of humanitarian aid along with a rescue team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Turkey where a massive 7.8-magnitude quake has killed over 4,300 people and injured thousands others.

Taking to Twitter, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said: “India’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilites in action.”

“The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Turkey, along with NDRF Search & Rescue Team, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines & other necessary equipment.”

The 51-member NDRF team headed by Deputy Commandant Deepak Talwar left from the Hindon Airport in Ghaziabad for Turkey on board an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft in the early hours of Tuesday.

Also in a tweet, the IAF said that “An IAF C-17 got airborne for Turkey. Bearing Search & Rescue teams of the @NDRFHQ.”

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