The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to consider providing employment to a family member of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was gangraped and murdered in Hathras district in September 2020, PTI reported.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Roy and Jaspreet Singh said that the job should be given within three months after the state government agreed to do provide the job.

The judges were hearing a suo motu case on the right to have a dignified cremation. The court had taken cognisance of the matter after the woman’s family members alleged that the authorities cremated her in their absence.

The court said that the state authorities should fulfill the promise made on September 30, 2020, when they had assured a Group C post in the state government job to one of the woman’s family members, Live Law reported.

“Clearly the family is in need of employment and that is why the same was promised by the head of the state [Chief Minister Adityanath],” the bench noted. “The promise is not based on any whims or fancy, but is referable to statuary and rules...”

At Wednesday’s hearing, the counsel representing the Uttar Pradesh government initially said that the administration could arrange for a private job for one of the family members. However, when the judges asked how the state could do so, the counsel submitted that the government was ready to provide employment, Live Law reported.

The court also directed the state government to relocate the family outside of Hathras within the next six months. The judges noted that it was difficult for the family to lead a normal life in the village after the incident.

The bench said that the relocation should be done keeping in mind the family’s social and economic conditions and also the educational needs of the children of the family, PTI reported.

Hathras gangrape case

Four upper-caste men raped and brutally assaulted the woman in Hathras on September 14, 2020. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. The woman had suffered multiple fractures, a spinal injury and a deep cut in her tongue.

The case also triggered outrage after the woman was cremated in the dead of the night without the presence of her family members.

The Allahabad High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the incident and the events leading up to the cremation of the woman. The Supreme Court too had called the incident “extraordinary and shocking” and had directed the Allahabad High Court to monitor the CBI investigation into the matter.

The Uttar Pradesh administration has consistently denied that the woman was raped, based on a report from the forensic lab that had said there were no traces of sperm in samples taken from her.

However, the chief medical officer at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College – where the woman was admitted – said the forensic lab’s report “holds no value” as it relied on samples taken 11 days after the crime was committed.

Experts have also pointed out that since the samples for the test were collected many days after the crime was committed, sperm would not be present. The autopsy report of the woman had showed that she was strangled and suffered a cervical spine injury. The final diagnosis did not mention rape, but had pointed out that there were tears in her genitalia and there had been “use of force”.