Flogging of Muslims in Gujarat: HC Gives 14-day Jail Term to Four Cops

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Execution of the sentence has been temporarily halted for three months upon the request of the accused’s counsel, who intends to file an appeal against the verdict.

Team Clarion

AHMEDABAD — The Gujarat High Court has sentenced four police officers to 14 days of simple imprisonment for their involvement in publicly flogging Muslim men in the Kheda district in October last year.

The court found the cops guilty of contempt of court for violating the D.K. Basu Guidelines set by the apex court, media reports said. 

However, the execution of the sentence has been temporarily halted for three months upon the request of the accused’s counsel, who intends to file an appeal against the verdict.

A bench comprising Justice A.S. Supehia and Justice Gita Gopi expressed its dissatisfaction with the need to issue such orders, mandating simple imprisonment for the officers. Additionally, a fine of Rs 2,000 has been imposed on each of the police officers. Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional 3-day imprisonment.

The orders comes in a contempt plea that was filed by family members, alleging that the five victims were subjected to public beatings by the policemen from the Matar police station in the Kheda district, thus violating the apex court’s guidelines against custodial torture.

The police action was in response to a communal clash in Undhela village, located in Matar Taluka of the Kheda district. It was alleged that some intruders had thrown stones at the crowd during Navratri celebrations, resulting in the arrest of at least 40 individuals in the incident.

Earlier, on October 4, the high court had issued an order to frame contempt charges against the accused cops. Subsequently, on October 16, the victims declined monetary compensation offered by the four policemen.

During a previous hearing, the high court had questioned the state government regarding the legality of “tying up an accused and publicly beating them in full view of the public.”

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