SC directs arrested J and K cops to move bail petition in Shopian case

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Friday directed two arrested officers of the Jammu and Kashmir police to move their bail applications before a Sessions court tomorrow in connection with the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian.

Former Superintendent of Police of Shopian Javed Iqbal Mattoo, and Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohit Baskota, who were arrested along with Station House Officer Shopian Shafiq Ahmed and Sub-inspector Gazi Abdul Rehman, moved a petition in the apex court against the ruling of J and K High Court, to arrest these officers and also to collect blood samples to prepare the DNA mapping of these officers.

An apex court bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan asked the Shopian Sessions court to expeditiously consider the bail pleas and directed the investigating officer to be present in the court with the case diary on Monday.

During the hearing, the bench said the High Court should have left it to the superior police officers to investigate the case and should have entitled the police officers to move for bail before the appropriate court.

The bench also expressed surprise that only because of agitation the investigation was handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The J and K Government has assured the bench that adequate security will be provided to the arrested officers.

Appearing for the victims, senior advocate B A Khan, said there was nothing wrong in the High Court order and suspected that because of the incident, the whole of Kashmir had suffered.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the state government also conceded that there was an overreaction on the pat of the High Court in this case.

There is no material against the officers, not a line in the counter-affidavit filed by the state government to suggest any connection in the case said senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for arrested police officers.

The J and K High Court, hearing a Public Interest Litigation Petition (PIL) filed by J and K High Court Bar Association in connection with alleged rape and murder of Neelofar and Aasiya Jan in Shopian ordered for the arrest of four police officers who were suspended in the same the case. The court also ordered to constitute SIT and DNA mapping of these officers. (ANI)


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