The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging the Allahabad High Court direction to consider giving employment to a family member of a Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and murdered in Hathras district in 2020, reported Live Law.

In July, the Allahabad High Court had said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government should fulfill the promise made on September 30, 2020, when the authorities had assured a Group C post in the state government job to one of the woman’s family members.

The High Court had also asked the state government to consider relocating the family to any other place within Uttar Pradesh but outside Hathras, noting that it was difficult for them to lead a normal life in the village after the incident.

However, Additional Advocate General Garima Prasad, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, on Monday told the Supreme Court that the judges ought to consider whether the elder married brother of the Dalit woman could be classified as her dependent.

She also said that the state is ready to relocate the family but they want to move to either Noida, Ghaziabad or Delhi.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said that it is not inclined to interfere in the matter considering the special facts and circumstances of the case.

“These are facilities provided to the family,” the judges noted. “We should not interfere. State should not come up in these matters.”

The case

On September 14, 2020, four upper-caste men named Sandeep, Ramu, Luv Kush and Ravi had allegedly raped and brutally assaulted the 19-year-old in Hathras. 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 on her tongue.

The case had 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 woman’s cremation. The Supreme Court too had called the incident “extraordinary and shocking” and directed the High Court to monitor the inquiry led by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

However, 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.

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

On March 2, a court in Uttar Pradesh had acquitted Ramu, Luv Kush and Ravi of all charges. Sandeep, the main accused person in the case, was also found not guilty of rape. The court had convicted him on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code and for offences under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.