Acquittal in Pehlu Khan Case verdict erodes trust in criminal justice system

Popular Front of India Chairman E Abubacker has expressed disappointment over the acquittal of six accused in Pehlu Khan Lynching Case by the trial court in Rajasthan’s Alwar.

The lynching of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan by right wing Hindu fanatics in April 2017 was an incident that happened in broad daylight. The perpetrators video-recorded the heinous act and circulated throughout social media while the world watched it with their naked eyes. However, to the disappointment of all those who eagerly waited for justice, all the six accused involved in his killing have been acquitted by a trial court in Rajasthan. It appears that police and prosecution, through deliberate procedural lapses, have helped the powerful criminals go scot free. The state government is also blameworthy in not pursuing the case with due diligence, especially when the Supreme Court has issued notices to Rajasthan along with four other Indian states and to the central government asking for action, and even new legislation, against mob lynching. While the court had technical reasons to cite for its decision to absolve the criminals, it does not make the facts go away that an innocent was brutally lynched to death while the world watched and that the perpetrators are supporters of the ruling class. The court had its powers to issue a moral verdict to ensure justice. While the acquittal might benefit those in power politically, they are putting the integrity of the criminal justice system of the country at stake and erode people’s trust in it.

E Abubacker sought the intervention of the higher judiciary in the country to establish justice in Pehlu Khan Case and to avoid such a travesty of justice from happening in future. He also asked the state government to pursue the case seriously and ensure that justice is served in its full spirit.