Bedi Commission hears final arguments



Srinagar, Nov 6: The Bedi Commission probing the death of National Conference worker Haji Syed Muhammad Yusuf Tuesday heard the final arguments of counsels representing Crime Branch and family of the deceased.
 As soon as the proceedings of the Commission commenced this morning senior Supreme Court Counsel Gaurav Pachnanda representing the Chief Minster Omar Abdullah drew the attention of the Commission towards the report of Law Commission of India regarding the admissibility of the hearsay evidence. 
 Counsels representing the CM and others have submitted before the Commission that the evidence produced before the commission by the relatives of the deceased was only hearsay which is not permissible under law.
 Farooq Ahmad Kathwari representing the Crime Branch Tuesday argued that police had followed all legal formalities in the case pleading there was no lapse or negligence on part of the Police.
 However, when the Commission asked Kathwari to clarify whether the deceased was under arrest, he replied in negative and informed it that the deceased had never been arrested formally but was under custody. The commission, however, responded that “to make a formal arrest is unknown to law”. 
 The Commission also asked the CB Counsel to inform it whether the guidelines laid down in Supreme Court Judgment titled D K Basu versus state of West Bengal were followed in the case of the deceased.
 Kathwari also invited the attention of the Commission to the statements of various witnesses especially the doctors who had conducted the postmortem and had reported and deposed that the deceased had died a natural death due to massive cardiac arrest. He argued that the medical evidence had also ruled out any sort of torture or violence inflicted upon the deceased.
 Counsel for the family of the deceased, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar argued that police had not followed the mandate of B K Basu judgment in the case.
 “The deceased was never admitted in the Police hospital as claimed by the police and entire record produced by the police and medical authorities is fudged and fabricated,” he argued.
 After Dar argued that the medical team which conducted the postmortem of the deceased was not constituted in accordance with the law, the Commission asked him to explain the legal procedure that was required to be followed for the constitution of the postmortem team. Dar, however, said that the postmortem was conducted by Dr Fareeda Noor who was a convenient person.
 However, the commission showed the counsel of the family of the deceased an affidavit submitted by Dr Fareeda Noor wherein she had stated the Principal Medical College in keeping with the request of the District Magistrate had constituted team to conduct the postmortem of the deceased. The letter of district magistrate requesting the Principal for constituting the team was also shown to the counsel.
 Due to paucity of time Dar could not conclude his arguments today and the proceedings of the Commission will resume on Wednesday at 10 am.
 The state government had on November 18 appointed the retired Supreme Court judge H S Bedi as the head of a one-man Commission to probe the death of 61-year-old Haji Yousuf in custody.
 Yousuf was handed over to IG, Crime Branch, by the Chief Minister on September 29 last year after he allegedly admitted that he had taken money from two National Conference workers for getting them berths in the Legislative Council and the state council of ministers.
 He died a day later. While Yusuf’s family alleged he was tortured to death, an autopsy showed that Haji Yousuf died of cardiac arrest.
 The Commission was asked to complete its probe within six weeks but due to 'unavoidable circumstances', including pendency of a petition relating to the matter before the Supreme Court and adverse weather conditions, the state government granted a three-month extension to the Commission on January 7.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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