New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday recommended a CBI probe into a case of "falsely" implicating a journalist of a Hindi newspaper in Uttar Pradesh for exercising his right to freedom of expression.
The recommendation for a CBI probe came after the state CB-CID gave contradictory reports on the case involving journalist Sammiuddin, an NHRC spokesperson said.
"The Commission has recommended that the Director of CBI enquire into the alleged false implication of journalist Sammiuddin by police of Lakhimpur Kheri district in the wake of two contradictory enquiry reports of CB-CID in the matter.
"The Commission, while recommending a CBI enquiry, has also sought to know about the conduct of the then Superintendent of Police (Lakhimpur Kheeri) and other police officers in the case," the spokesperson said.
The Commission, after consideration of material and facts on record, including the first report by the CB-CID dated March 8, 2007, had recommended in Februray 2010 that the victim be paid Rs five lakh as he was victimised by police for "exercising his right to freedom of expression".
The report had concluded that there was no independent witness except police officers that Sammiuddin had in his possession contraband wildlife articles as alleged. Action was also taken against the errant officials in the case for not procuring independent evidence, the spokesperson said.
"Now, after the second CB-CID report in contradiction to earlier report in the matter by the same agency, a case was registered against the journalist and the state government said that it did not find any justification in granting any relief to him as recommended by the Commission," he said.
The Commission has observed that "the matter has gone for a long time".
The protracted correspondence carried out with the state authorities and personal interaction with Additional Director General (Human Rights) on several occasions "leads to one and only one escapable assumption that a concerted move is on to deny compensation to the victim whose human rights have been violated by UP.
"It beats comprehension as to why a case registered and investigated by the CB-CID relating to animal skin and nails of tiger allegedly recovered from the victim culminated in final report (FR), but in the subsequent enquiry, the same agency, CB-CID has changed its version and now trying to prove that the case was genuine," the Commission said.
The Commission is of the view that it is a case of alleged false implication by police.
"The complainant claims that he is a respectable citizen of India and a press reporter of a newspaper. He has no criminal history. He alleges that in the absence of independent evidence, the police have falsely implicated him," the Commission observed.