Injustice system – Editorial

The acquittal of all six persons accused of lynching Pehlu Khan, a cattle trader, near Alwar, is an indictment of the Rajasthan government and its law enforcement agencies. The trial court judge gave the benefit of doubt to the accused and ordered their release because the Rajasthan Police probe had “serious shortcomings” and signified “gross negligence”.

Simply put, due process was subverted by shoddy investigation, procedural infirmities and poor monitoring of the probe by state authorities. The Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan government is appealing against the verdict, but it still needs to answer for the derailment of a high-profile probe that was seen as a test case of the state’s commitment to ensuring justice.

A mob had attacked Khan in Alwar on April 1, 2017, following a rumour that he was smuggling cows. He died in a hospital two days later, after naming six persons in his dying declaration to the police. Onlookers made recordings of the attack and circulated them on social media. On TV, persons in the mob proudly claimed responsibility for the murder. However, the police seems to have ignored due procedures when Khan made his statement, and did not authenticate the videos before submitting them in court.…