The Supreme Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to give its response on a plea which alleges custodial torture of the Kathua case witness, Talib Hussain by August 27. Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud comprised the bench which fixed the hearing on August 29.
Earlier, the court had asked the lawyer which was appearing for Hussain’s cousin Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, to given an explanation on how a writ of habeas corpus (produce the body) was maintainable in the present case where the accused was in lawful police custody following an FIR being registered against him.
The counsel had referred to a Supreme Court judgement and said irrespective of the nature of detention, whether legal or illegal, such a petition could always be filed in cases of custodial torture.
The lawyer, appearing for Hussain’s sister-in-law who has filed the FIR alleging rape, opposed the petition and said there were as many as 10 FIRs against the accused and no relief should be granted without hearing the victim.
The plea has asked for Hussain’s protection in police custody and alleges that he had been brutally beaten up in the alleged fake rape case.
Talib Hussain, who had been on the forefront of demanding justice in the Kathua rape-murder case was arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district.
Talib Hussain was arrested following a complaint lodged on Tuesday by a woman who is his relative, a police official said. In her complaint, the woman alleged that she was raped by Hussain a month-and-a half ago in Chadwa forest, he said.
Hussain, armed with a knife, intercepted the woman when she had gone to the forest for grazing cattle and also thrashed her, the complaint said.
Earlier, in June, a case was registered against Hussain by his wife for alleged torture and dowry demand. In response he said the case was aimed at “aimed at maligning him for raising his voice to seek justice for the Kathua rape and murder victim”.
He was provided anticipatory bail by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in the case.