NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Monday transferred the infamous Kathua rape-murder case from the Kathua court in Jammu and Kashmir to a sessions court in Pathankot in Punjab. The apex court will also monitor the trial. It also rejected the demand for a CBI probe into the gruesome act.
The charge-sheet in the mid-January brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old tribal girl was filed in the Kathua court amidst huge protest by a section of lawyers on 9th April. The trial has not been smooth due to the protest of lawyers and politically-motivated protests by a section of local people.
Some local BJP leaders and including two ministers in the state government were found addressing one of such protests in favor of the accused persons. Following the huge media uproar last month, they had to resign from the state cabinet.
Victim’s father had approached the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the case from Kathua as their counsels Ms. Deepika Singh Rajawat and Talib Hussain were also allegedly getting threats.
Last week, the apex court had stayed the trial in the Kathua court till 7th May.
After hearing the petition today, the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also directed the Government to give adequate protection to the witnesses and the accused persons. The Court directed that all the proceedings in the case shall be held ‘in camera’, says a report in LiveLaw.in.
The apex court has also held that the State of Jammu and Kashmir can appoint Special Public Prosecutor in the case.