Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hathras case: No transfer before completion of CBI investigation; high court to monitor probe, says Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court today turned down an appeal for transfer of the Hathras case to Delhi, saying that transfer can be considered once investigation is complete. The court said that as of now the CBI is dealing with it and there is no cause for any apprehension. The top court has said that the CBI will be allowed to complete its investigation first. The court also ordered that the Allahabad High Court will monitor the CBI investigation.

The bench of Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, Justice A. S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian pronounced its verdict on a batch of pleas with two basic demands: one for the transfer and the other for the constitution of a court-monitored SIT, comprising sitting and/or retired judges.

The bench had reserved its judgement in the case on October 15.

The demand for a separate SIT has not been acknowledged by the court. The CBI, thus, remains the only probing agency. Only, to scotch any apprehension from the appellants about fairness of any probe in Uttar Pradesh, the top court has ordered that the CBI probe would be monitored by the high court.

Read Also: Video: SC reserves order in Hathras case, Tablighi Jamaat case in SC

In several intervention pleas, activists and lawyers have argued that a fair trial was not possible in Uttar Pradesh as the probe has allegedly been botched up.

In the earlier hearing on October 15, the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police welcomed the Supreme Court to depute any agency for protecting the Hathras victim’s family, but had said it should not be a reflection on the fairness of the state police.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, citing the Uttar Pradesh government’s affidavit, informed the top court that adequate security arrangement for victim’s family has been made.

The 19-year-old woman had succumbed to her injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, where she was brought from the Aligarh Muslim University Medical College.

The State government had formed a three-member SIT to investigate the case and said the matter will be heard in a fast track court. All four accused in the case have been arrested.

The case took a twist after a forensic lab report claimed that no traces of sperm were found in the samples taken from the victim’s body. The tests, however, were conducted 1-12 days after the alleged rape and there have been complaints that such late analyses would not have yielded proper results.

Read Also: Hathras case: Supreme Court to decide on monitoring of CBI, transfer of case, security agency

Protests have intensified across the country after the alleged rape and consequent murder of the Dalit girl in Hathras. Various civil society organizations have questioned the Uttar Pradesh government over the way in which the matter has been dealt with so far.

The unusual haste shown by the police authorities in cremating the victim and the sequence of events that took place in the inquiry of the case has brought both the UP government and the administration under the scanner.

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