Bedi Commission concludes final hearing

To submit report to JK Government

HAJI YOUSUF CASE

D A RASHID

Srinagar, Nov 7: The Bedi Commission probing the death of National Conference worker Haji Syed Muhammad Yousuf Wednesday heard the final arguments by the counsels of the parties. The Commission would submit its report to the J&K Government.
 The Counsel for the family of deceased Mushtaq Ahmad while arguing today referred to the provisions of Police Manual and informed the Commission that the post-mortem team was “not constituted in line with the rules of the Manual.”
 He submitted that a close relative of the deceased Syed Muzaffar Hussain who was working as deputy director (prosecution) at the Crime Branch, Khurshid Ahmad, driver of Syed Muhammad Yousuf, were not examined by the police and the statement of head constable Nazir Ahmad was not given any thrust. He said the case diaries were not allowed to put on record which has prejudiced him.
 He argued that when the Chief Minister and others called the deceased, he was under arrest. “Under section 59 read with section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the deceased was to be re-arrested,” he argued.
 He pleaded that D K Basu SC Judgment was not followed in the case as no arrest memo was in place.
 Senior Supreme Court counsel Gaurav Pachnanda with Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Chashoo in rebuttal said that there was no direct accusation against the parties represented by them. They submitted that the name of Dr Farooq Abdullah had not figured as an accused in the case.
 They informed the Commission that it was inquired from Salam Reshi whether he had received the money back from the deceased and he admitted that he had received Rs 30 lakh back from the deceased and Rs 4 lakh were still lying with him.
 “It was also inquired that when the deceased was asked when he was going to give back Rs 84 lakh to Muhammad Yousuf from whom he had received the money, he had replied that it would take him one month,” they argued.
 Responding to the argument of Dar that Omar Abdullah was not party president and as Chief Minister he could not summon the deceased, the counsels argued that Muhammad Yousuf Bhat has recorded in his statement that Omar Omar Abdullah was the working president of the Party.
 “It was the prerogative of CM only to induct any person in the cabinet, so it was natural for him to call the complainant and the accused as it was alleged that money was taken for granting berths in Cabinet and the legislative council,” they argued.
 Crime Branch Counsel Farooq Ahmad Kathwari told the Commission that Police had followed D K Basu judgment in the case, arguing if there was any deviation or lapse, that was not willful or intentional as deceased was to be shifted to hospital.
 The Commission put the counsels representing the parties at liberty to file written arguments, if any, within 10 days.
 The state government had on November 18 appointed the retired Supreme Court judge H S Bedi as 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 Yousuf’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 : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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