Kathua rape and murder case: SC transfers trial to Pathankot court, refuses CBI probe

May 7:The Supreme Court on Monday transferred the murder and rape case of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua to Pathankot district and sessions court while declining to entertain the demand for a CBI probe in the matter. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed a fast-track trial and day-to-day hearing in the matter to avoid any delay. Besides, the proceedings have been directed to be held in-camera.
The Supreme Court also allowed the Jammu and Kashmir government to appoint a public prosecutor in Pathankot court and asked the government to provide security to the victim's family, their lawyer and witnesses. The top court also said the trial would be in accordance with the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, applicable in Jammu and Kashmir. The apex court said that the trial must be fair to the accused as well as the victim's family.
The petition was filed by the biological father of the victim who had sought transfer of the trial to Chandigarh. The J&K government was against transferring the trial outside the state. A Public Interest Litigation seeking the case to be handed over to the CBI was also filed in the court. In its report to the Supreme Court, the Bar Council of India had claimed that "the demand for a CBI inquiry. appears to be justifiable". The grieving father, belonging to a minority nomadic community which earns its livelihood by raising cattle, said he has full faith in the government. "We only want justice…I have full faith in the judiciary and the government," the father told over the phone from Ramban district where he is camping along with other members of his family. "We don't favour a CBI probe either. We do not know CBI and our only desire is that justice is done…," he said.
"I welcome today's decision by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the Kathua case. This will go a long way to boost the morale of our @JmuKmrPolice force who in the face of great adversity have left no stone unturned to ensure that the deceased's family gets justice," CM Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.
Reacting to the decision over transferring the case to Pathankot, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said, "Security is the main concern, we have adequate security in Pathankot."
The two prime accused in the case had told the Supreme Court that the probe should be handed over to the CBI so that justice is served in the case. They also opposed the plea seeking transfer of trial to Chandigarh.
Expressing confidence in the probe conducted by the Crime Branch, the J&K CM said, "I am very clear about this case. J&K Police's Crime Branch has done a very good investigation, collected all the evidence scientifically. Now the trial will be on the court, which will decide the outcome. We are convinced that there is absolutely no need for a CBI inquiry. We cannot take such a decision because the accused are demanding it." Agencies

Source: Agencies


  
  

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