Hours before the first hearing of a PIL over the Hathras incident, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday filed its affidavit in the Supreme Court, supporting a court-monitored CBI probe to obviate false narratives against the state and ensure free and fair probe.
The state government, which has been on a caveat in a petition filed jointly by a social activist and lawyers, opted to express its inclination for a court-monitored probe even before the top court has agreed to admit the PIL.
The development also assumes significance since the Allahabad High Court has fixed October 10 to hear a suo motu petition in the matter and if the Supreme Court were to agree to monitor the investigations, the High Court may not be left with much to do.
In its 16-page-affidavit, Uttar Pradesh government has alleged an insidious propaganda by political parties and a section of media to malign the Yogi Adityanath government, using social media and protests as their tools.
It added that there is a planned attempt to incite communal and caste riots using the Hathras incident and therefore, it would be appropriate if the apex court were to supervise the CBI probe in a time bound manner.
The affidavit emphasised that to negate the suspicions around the administrative control of the state over the investigations, a CBI probe has already been recommended by the government and that monitoring by the top court will ensure false narratives do not interfere with the course of the probe.
About the midnight cremation of the victim, the state government has referred to violent protests and alleged instigation of the family by politicians and some media personnel while pointing out the cremation was done in the presence of her family members.
“The extraordinary circumstances and sequence of unlawful incidents which forced the district administration to take the extraordinary step of cremating the victim at night in presence of the family members, who agreed to avoid further violence," stated the affidavit.
It added the cremation was done to maintain law and order and that no oblique motive could be ascribed to the state authorities which had already done her post-mortem duly conducted.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde will have the first hearing of the PIL later in the day.