Monday, July 13, 2009

It is Justice Muzaffer Jan versus police



Remarks Against Family Came From Police: Justice Jan
Everything In The Report Belongs To Commission: Mughal

Srinagar, July 12: Justice (retd) Muzaffar Jan, who headed the One-Man Commission of Enquiry to probe the May 29 rape and murder of two women in Shopian, today denied having made any offending or insulting remarks about the victims and their family.
 “The Commission in its 4-volume report has not made any offending or insulting reference to the women or their family members,” Justice Jan told Greater Kashmir. 
 “The 3-page report in which the remarks have been passed against the family was prepared and submitted to the Commission by the investigating officer, superintendent of police, Haseeb Mughal. I didn’t accept the report and even didn’t take it on record,” Justice Jan said, adding “the Commission challenges anyone to point out anything in the report that goes against the family.”
 Justice Jan said the 3-page police investigation account, prepared by the SP Haseeb Mughal was put in the annexure of the report and is not a part of the Commission’s recommendations. “If somebody puts up an application before the court, the court keeps the application on the case file. That is what was done with the report submitted by the police. We just annexed it with various accounts submitted before the Commission by various parties.” He asserted.  
 He said the impression was given in the print and electronic media attributing to the Commission the objectionable remarks against the family and the women. “I am saying with full confidence and authority that not a single derogatory reference has been made about the family of the two women in the report,” he said. 
 Justice Jan said the Commission had not even mentioned or referred to the police account in its report or recommendations. Had the government circulated the hard copies of the report, instead of the soft copies, there would have been no confusion, he said.  
 On page 95 of the final report, Justice Jan said, the Commission had clearly stated that the SP had presented the possible parameters of the investigation and they were placed on the annexure Z-2 of the final report. He said the Commission report was based entirely on its own records. “The Commission didn’t take help of the investigating agency as its report had raw information and it couldn’t have been used without verification,” he said.
 When constituted, the Commission was given staff of 20 policemen headed by the SP. The SP and other police officers were in the field collecting details. The Commission examined 40 witnesses while as the police investigating team attached with the Commission collected details of 4000 phone calls and other material. 
 Justice Jan insisted that he had not taken any evidence of the investigating agency on record. He described the manner in which the government disseminated the Commission findings as “sheer carelessness.” He said the government should distribute the hard copies of the Commission findings to clear the confusion. However, he insisted there was no foul play and that “it might have happened by default not by design.”  
 Meanwhile, the superintendent of police, Dr Haseeb Mughal, who assisted the Commission, had a different take on the issue. “I was simply assisting the Commission and not holding any separate office. So whatever the findings the report contains, these are from the Commission itself. It was not Haseeb Mughal in person doing anything other than assisting the Commission,” he told Greater Kashmir on phone, adding, “It was the job of the Commission to screen the contents of the report before making it public because it was a team work that we were doing. Otherwise it was the Commission that was probing the case.” 
 “And you wouldn’t find any signature of mine on any part of the report,” he said.  
 However, Justice Jan owned the part of the report in which he has sought firm guidelines for press to ensure that before publication of any news, the authenticity of the news be verified.” He said the government could accept or reject the recommendations about the press.

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