Tufail Matoo killing case: Family counsel concludes arguments on closure, status report

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/3/2013 11:16:56 PM

SRINAGAR, July 3: The High Court today posted Tufail Matoo killing case for Monday as the counsel for victim family concluded his arguments on closure and status report submitted by the government.
“I have almost concluded arguments on both status report as well closure report that was filed by the government in a lower court by virtue of which Tufail Matoo killing case was closed. I had challenged both these reports and the same was heard today,” said Mian Abdul Qayoom, the former president Bar Association and the counsel for Matoo’s family.
He said the state counsel is scheduled to submit a letter on Monday before the High Court.
According to the family, Matoo was returning home from tuitions on June 11, 2010 when a teargas shell hit him on the head near Gani Memorial Stadium in Rajouri Kadal area of old city, killing him on the spot.
The killing unleashed massive and unprecedented unrest in the Valley that witnessed killing of more than 120 protesters allegedly in police and CRPF action.
Justice Verinder Singh had passed the direction after Mian Abdul Qayoom, the counsel for Matoo’s family pleaded displeasure over the contents of the closure report submitted by the police before a sub ordinate court here.
On April 9, the state high court had called record from the government in the matter in a fresh petition filed by the family of Mattoo, challenging the trial court orders on a number of grounds.
Advocate Qayoom had pleaded that the trial court was legally not competent to accept the closure report of the police because the high court was seized of the matter. “The high court directed (us) to file response to the status report filed by the Special Investigation Team of Police (wherein it stated to have closed as untraced its investigation into the killing of Tufail Mattoo),” he pleaded, adding, “The High Court was yet to examine the matter.”
Advocate Qayoom, the former president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, had argued that the trial court proceeded to pass the impugned order (on 27-Feberuary-2013) without allowing the High Court to consider the final report. “It is in total derogation of law,” he had prayed, adding, “The impugned order having caused grave miscarriage of justice, therefore, is liable to be set aside.”
The trial court, he had submitted, has stated nothing as to how and in what manner Tufail Ahmad Mattoo died. “While one cannot disagree with the findings of the trial court that no innocent person should be put forward for trial, it is equally true that no culprit should go unpunished.” In Tufail’s case, the police refused to file an FIR initially and it was only after directions of a local court that a case was registered.
Later, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, ordered constitution of the SIT. And when the investigation did not make any headway, the court on September 26, 2011, passed direction for constitution of another investigation team to be headed by an officer not below the rank of SP. According to family sources, the Court has listed the matter for hearing on Thursday. On May 8, after hearing the arguments from victim family’s lawyer against the closure report filed by the police, the High Court had asked the government to file a complete investigation report in the matter within three weeks. On November 29, 2012 the police had closed the matter as “untraced”.



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