HC to SP: Facilitate meeting of girl with legal counsel

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court Wednesday told Superintendent of Police to facilitate meeting between Handwara minor girl and her legal counsel.
Jammu and Kashmir High Court was hearing the Habaes Corpus petition for the immediate release of the girl, father and aunt.
 “The minor girl continues to be under illegal police custody for ninth day,” Srinagar based Human Rights defender group, JKCCS said in a statement this evening
“The High Court observed that a PIL had been filed by the Bar Association seeking similar relief and therefore directed that the Habeas Corpus petition be clubbed with the PIL that is next listed for 26 April 2016. But, the court also directed that SP, Handwara [Ghulam Jeelani Wani] facilitate a meeting between the mother and her lawyers and the minor girl, and a report of the compliance of this order be filed before the Division Bench hearing the PIL. The Police also filed a status report before the court where they have taken the position that the minor girl and father had sought police protection. No mention is made of the video that was recorded and circulated while the minor girl was in police custody. The police submissions are misrepresentations to cover up the illegal police custody and the other illegal actions of the police [particularly SP Ghulam Jeelani] such as the recording and circulation of the video, the abuse and exploitation of the girl in custody, forcible signatures taken on documents seeking police protection, and the statement of the minor girl being recorded before the magistrate under duress,” the JKCCS statement said.
“The consequence of today’s proceedings is six more days of illegal police custody for the Handwara minor girl. But, the direction to SP Ghulam Jeelani Wani will ensure that for the first time since being detained the minor girl and family will have unhindered access to legal counsel,” the statement said.
In the meantime, JKCCS has been contacted by Ms Nayeema Mehjoor – Chairperson J&K State Commission for Women – who has assured that she will do the needful for the release and relocation, if necessary, of the minor girl and family.

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