A Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of the horrific gang-rape case in Hathras district, UP. A bench of justice Rajan Roy and justice Jaspreet Singh passed the order on Thursday and has fixed October 12 for the next hearing in the case.

"The incidents which took place after the death of the victim on 29.09.2020 leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience, therefore, we are taking suo moto cognisance of the same," the Lucknow Bench said.

The HC issued a notice to top officials of the UP government, including Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary (Home); Director General of Police, UP Lucknow; Additional Director General, Law and Order, UP; District Magistrate, Hathras; Superintendent of Police, Hathras; in order to seek their response on the reports of alleged inhumane behaviour by the police.

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In addition, the notice stated that the matter was of "immense public importance and public interest as it involves allegation of high handedness by the State authorities resulting in violation of the basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also of her family members."

The bench has also asked the victim's parents to be present in the court to listen to their side of the incident. The court said it would examine if the victim's family status, social and economic, was misused by the state authorities in depriving them of their Constitutional rights. The HC directed the state authorities to arrange for the family's travels and ensure the victim's kin are not pressurized in any way.

The court is even open to considering future dates for hearing if the case warranted probe by an individual agency or SIT.