New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government and SP on a writ petition seeking transfer of investigation and trial of the criminal case filed against the Additional Chief Standing counsel of the UP Govt. who has been made accused of rape by a young practicing lawyer from Delhi.
The petition has been moved by one of the victim’s friends, apprehending that investigation in the rape case may be restrained due to the leverage enjoyed by the accused in the state.
A three-judge bench of Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee has issued notices to the UP government and SP, Lucknow.
The counsel for the petitioner has contended that the FIR lodged by the victim in the Vibhuti Khand Police Station has shockingly been circulated all over media or social media platforms, disclosing the victim’s identity and personal details to the public. This has made it unfeasible for her and her family to “step out of their house“.
The Counsel has sought for following orders or directions:
a) Order upon the Lucknow Police to immediately remove all news, information and other material over internet relating to the victim or her family;
b) Order to test all samples collected from the crime scene in a FSL facility situated outside the State of UP;
c) Order to transfer of investigation to CBI and transfer of trial outside the State of Uttar Pradesh.
d) Order for an absolute ban on sale of intoxicating substances, as the victim was drugged before being raped.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court order granting interim relief to the accused. The High Court of Allahabad had granted Chauhan interim relief from arrest against which an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court.
That bench, comprising Justices RF Nariman and Navin Sinha, however, did not interfere with the High Court’s order which had directed the competent court to enable the investigating agency to recover relevant material connected with the case.
“There shall be stay of the operation of the impugned order except the following. As an interim measure, the competent court is hereby directed to pass necessary orders on the pending application so that the investigating agency may assume possession of the relevant material which may have a bearing upon the case. As an abundant caution, we provide that an appropriate order to this effect may be passed so that there is no tampering with the evidence of the case,” the bench observed.
Shailendra Singh Chauhan, Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow Bench of the High Court, has been booked for sexual harassment and rape by a Delhi based lawyer for offences under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 354A (Sexual harassment) and 376 (Rape) of IPC.
-India Legal Bureau