The Gujarat High Court was informed on Monday that the five Muslim men who were flogged by policemen in public view in October last year have refused to accept monetary compensation from the four cops who are facing contempt of court charges [Jahirmiya Rehamumiya Malek v. State of Gujarat].
Senior Advocate Prakash Jani told the Bench of Justices AS Supehia and Gita Gopi that the charged policemen had met the victims and their advocate.
“Initially, the meeting ended on a good note. However, when the victims went and met their community members, they refused to accept any compromise and compensation,” Jani told the judges.
Taking the statement on record, Justice Supehia adjourned the hearing till Thursday.
“It is informed that the attempt to compromise has failed. Let this matter come up on Thursday, we will pass orders,” the Bench said.
The five victims were beaten up by policemen from the Matar Police Station in Kheda district for allegedly hurling stones at a crowd during a Navratri event in Undhela village. Videos of the flogging incident also surfaced on social media.
The family members of the victims petitioned the High Court seeking contempt of court action against the policemen for violating the Supreme Court’s guidelines issued in the case of DK Basu v. State of West Bengal, which called for compliance with proper procedure before arresting any individual.
The High Court sought a response from the State in the matter in October last year.
Responding to the plea, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Gadhiya stated that the Muslim men, along with 159 members of their community, had conspired to disrupt a Garba event to create fear among the Hindu community. The officer had further said that in order to maintain peace in the area, the petitioners were beaten up by the cops.
Accordingly, to ascertain the role of each of the 14 policemen involved in the incident, the High Court had ordered the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Nadia district to scrutinise the videos and the images which went viral on social media.
A report later submitted by CJM Chitra Ratnoo before the High Court stated that the video clips and photographs of the incident were not clear. Therefore, it was difficult to identify all 14 policemen seen in the clips. Only four cops could be identified.
The High Court then proceeded to frame charges against the four cops who were identified..