Abdul Bari Masoud for MuslimMirror.com
New Delhi: Coming down heavily on the Delhi government for not complying its directive of paying monetary relief of Rs 5 lakh to terror exoneree Mohammad Aamir Khan, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today has once again directed the Government of NCT of Delhi to submit the proof of payment made to the victim within a period of six weeks. Commission also made it clear that the reply to its show cause notice was not based on merits and it was not concerned with the appeals pending in two cases of the victim.
Aamir, who was framed by Delhi police in 18 terror cases and got acquitted after spending 14 years in jail, has welcomed the NHRC fresh order but said mere monetary help could not rebuild his destroyed life.
Talking to this correspondent, Aamir, who is now 36 years old, told that like him there are scores of Muslim youth whose lives have been destroyed by the prejudiced prosecution and biased investigative agencies and it is the duty of the state to fully rehabilitate them. ‘’When I was arrested (in fact kidnapped), I was barely 18 years old, I would have spent these years on my education or on building a career to help support my family”.
On NHRC’s order, he said he needs a government job to sustain his life that would also obliterate stigma of terror from his face. After the acquittal, I met then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, but that was not much of help, he added.
The NHRC had first issued the show cause notice in December 2015 The on the point of acquittal of the victim in 18 cases by the courts and long incarceration of the victim in the prison. In its reply, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vigilance, Delhi had submitted a detail report on August 26, 2016, stating that “Mohd. Amir Khan has been involved in terrorist cases with serious implications for national security. Mohd. Amir Khan has been convicted by the trial Courts in Case FIR No.49/98, P.S. Railway Main Delhi and FIR No.632/97 P.S. Karol Bagh, Delhi and his appeal in both the cases are pending in Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. Therefore, it is submitted that the matter of compensation may kindly not be decided till the final outcome of these appeals.”
The Commission said in its reply that it was not concerned with the appeals pending in two cases. The fact is that the victim had to spend 14 years long incarceration in the prison for no reason violating his human rights.
“On a perusal of the case record, it is noticed that the victim had been acquitted in 17 cases including one by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. During the incarceration, the victim suffered the death of his father who died of liver ailment and his mother became paralyzed due to shock and trauma which she faced for so many years. The notable fact to be seen is that the victim has been issued a conduct certificate by the Jailor of the District Jail, Ghaziabad. In his certificate, the concerned jailor has recorded his remarks in positive terms to the effect that during the stay, the victim complied with the rules of the Prison and his conduct as a prisoner has been very satisfactory and praiseworthy. It is seen that the victim before the Commission was taken in the police custody when he had just completed his age of minority and reached the age of discretion i.e. 18 years, the age at which a boy normally takes off his flights to fulfill the dreams of his life and that of his parents as well. But the irony is that the actions of the State Authorities put a hold on his life for the next 14 prime and precious years before he was set at liberty by the court of law. Now at the age of 32-33 years when he looks back, he has nobody to console nor anyone to share with his trauma as he has lost everyone. The materials on record not only reflect the excesses committed by the concerned police authorities but it also depicts the silent incarceration suffered by the victim.
In these circumstances, the Commission finds no merits in the report of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vigilance, and Delhi and recommends an amount of Rs.5, 00,000/- as interim relief to be paid to the victim. The Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi is directed to submit the proof of payment made to the victim within a period of six weeks”.
It has to be mentioned here that the Delhi High Court which overturned one of the three cases that went to appeal said: “the prosecution has miserably failed to adduce any evidence to connect the accused-appellant with the charges framed much less proved them”.
The chronicles of the allegation made against the victim only piled up over the years without any substance and the matter of his victimization increased day by day and year after year which became a subject matter of widespread reactions in different National Newspapers. All the Newspaper reports are unanimous over the Human rights violation of the victim and the Commission cannot afford to differ with the wisdom displayed by the courts and Media.
The commission reminded the authorities that “Our Constitution accord the responsibility on the State to Protect and Promote Human Rights of individuals and the responsibility is based on good governance. Police play a significant role in maintaining the order and enforce laws fairly and not unjustly. Police, as protector of law, have both legal and moral obligations to uphold Human Rights and act strictly in accordance with law”.
It has also cautioned the law-enforcement agencies that implicating innocent persons would not go only against all canons of justice and rule of law but it would also amount to real accused escape from the clutches of law.
No doubt, there are hundreds of Aamir in the country who are still piecing together their life. The first People’s Tribunal on Terror Acquittals under the former Law Commission chairman Justice A P Shaw has strongly recommended rehabilitation and compensation to the victims of wrongful prosecution in accordance with International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as India is a signatory of Article 14 (6) this Convention.
Aamir has recently published his 14-year nightmare account under the title ‘Framed as a Terrorist: My 14-Year Struggle to Prove My Innocence’. It was co-written with the noted lawyer and activist Nandita Haksar. Now, he works with Harsh Mander’s Center for Equity Studies, where he is a researcher on a study about undertrials.