After 3 years and over 40 hearings, the last being on September 13, the 17 people accused of lynching Mohammad Akhlaq are yet to face trial. The next hearing is on October 5.
Even though the case is in the fast-track court for three years but the number of hearings has been gradually decreasing. In the year 2016, at least 25 hearings took place and in 2017, the case was heard only 13 times. Since January 2018 there have been only 7 hearings, despite the Supreme Court condemned the mob lynching cases and urged Parliament to bring a law to deal with it.
Yusuf Saifi, the lawyer who is fighting Akhlaq’s case said “the defence has filed discharge applications over and over again to delay the process. They have been quite successful since the charges against the accused are yet to be framed.”
The case moves forward only after framing of charges, once the evidence is produced the trial starts. And while this case awaits trial, an FIR was lodged in 2017 against Akhlaq and six members of his family for allegedly slaughtering a cow. Police are still investigating that.
Circle officer of Dadri, Satish Kumar, said the meat sample which was found near the transformer in Dadri was sent for examination in Lucknow and the report is still awaited. “The charge sheet on the parallel FIR will be filed only after getting the report,” he said.