Kathua rape-murder case: HC issues notice to JK govt over dismissal of accused cop

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court today issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply within two weeks over a petition filed by a policeman, one of the eight accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, challenging his dismissal from the service, a defence lawyer said.
High Court Judge Justice M K Hanjura issued the notice to Chief Secretary and DGP after hearing the argument over the petition filed by the constable Tilak Raj.
Besides Raj, the government has dismissed sub-inspector Anand Dutta and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma for their alleged involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl whose body was recovered from a forest in Kathua district in January, a week after her abduction.
The sub-inspector and the constable are accused of destroying the crucial evidence for money to save the culprits.
The petition was filed in the High Court here yesterday after getting a nod from the district and sessions judge Pathankot where the rape and murder case is under trial on the orders of Supreme Court, the defence lawyer A K Sawhney told PTI.
We have challenged the order of the dismissal of my client, Raj, on four grounds which included no notice was issued to the accused, no inquiry was conducted and the order being discriminatory in nature, he said.
After hearing the argument, Justice Hanjura served notice to the concerned and asked for their response within two weeks, the lawyer said, adding the next date of hearing would be decided after getting the response from the government, the defence lawyer said.
Sawhney said he pleaded for immediate stay on the dismissal order and its immediate revocation.
The lawyer said he had to seek the copy of the dismissal order, which was passed on April 17, through an RTI application.
Sub-Inspector Dutta had also filed an RTI application to get the copy of the order and once it is received, his case would also be taken up accordingly, he said.
The defence lawyer claimed that the dismissal order of the two policemen is in gross violation of the constitutional protection as the law of the land makes it clear that if you want to terminate any person from service, an inquiry officer is required to recommend the same.

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