High Court directs State to file status report in 2 weeks

Greater Kashmir

Hyderpora youth’s ‘disappearance’

Srinagar, Mar 20: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Wednesday directed the State to file within two weeks the latest status report of ‘further investigation’ into the disappearance of a youth who was allegedly lifted by forces from his residence at Hyderpora in 2002.
Mst Jana has filed a petition in the High Court seeking directions for completing investigation into “custodial disappearance” of her husband Manzoor Ahmad Dar.
Dar was running a medical shop at Rawalpora in outskirts of city when he was picked up from his home by unidentified gunmen during intervening night of January 18 and 19, 2002.  Since then his whereabouts are not known.
A bench of Justice Hasnain Massodi passed the direction after perusing the records including order of Special Magistrate Passenger Tax Court Srinagar where police submitted the report of investigation as “not proved.”
 In its order, Passenger Tax Court Srinagar has observed that no test identification parade was conducted by the IO during the course of investigation which, it said, was imperative.
“ I am not in consonance with the view taken by the IO as such it is enjoined upon the investigating officer to conduct the investigation denovo in the matter and at least get the test identification parade of the accused person in presence of the complainant,” the trial court held.
The trial court said the final closure report of police under section 173 of CrPC was accordingly returned to the concerned SHO for further investigation.
The complainant has deposed in her statement before the Court that on 18 January, 2002 the Army Personnel belonging to RR came to her house in the midnight and took her husband along with them.  She deposed that she was not inconsonance with the investigation undertaken by the police and intended to get the matter further investigated.
The High Court had earlier directed the state government to file either a charge-sheet against the accused in the competent court or closure report of the case.
The High Court had on April 3 this year directed the IGP Kashmir to adopt all measures to collect information about the present place of posting of Col Kishore Malhotra of 35 RR who is allegedly involved in the custodial killing of Dar.
The court had said the investigating agency could seek intervention of Director General of Police to conclude the probe without any further loss of time.
Following the custodial disappearance of Dar in 2002 , the residents had resorted to massive demonstrations forcing police to file FIR under section 364 of RPC in Police Station Saddar.
Subsequently, during police investigations, name of Col Kishore Malhotra cropped up as an accused.
 However, process of investigation lost momentum as the accused didn’t cooperate and was not arrested so far.
To evade arrest, Kishore filed LPA in the Supreme Court pleading his innocence. He also accused police of harassing him. The Apex Court, however, dismissed his appeal.