Trial won’t be shifted outside state, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has said
The Supreme Court today did not favour handing over the investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua from the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police to the CBI as her father expressed satisfaction over the investigation carried out so far.
“In the absence of any allegation, why should we enter into this as to who should investigate,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said, adding that it was “the primary duty of the state police to investigate a case”.
The father expressed satisfaction with the probe conducted so far by the state police, while vehemently opposing the plea of senior advocate Bhim Singh and Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur that the investigation be transferred to the CBI.
“Be that as it may, we do not intend to enter into this sphere (transfer of case to CBI) at this stage,” the bench said, noting the submission of the victim’s father.
The Jammu Bar Association and others had demanded transfer of the case to the CBI as they had no faith in the probe carried out by the crime branch. The crime branch submitted two charge sheets against eight people including an alleged juvenile for allegedly raping and murdering the girl in January this year.
The gangrape and murder of the eight-year-old girl, who belonged to nomadic Muslim community, took place in the Kathua district in January. After being missing for a week, her body was found on January 17.
Eight accused have been arrested in the case, and have pleaded not guilty. The lawyer of the accused has also said that they are ready for a narco test.
The lawyer of the victim, Deepika Singh Rajawat has said that she fears for her life and could get killed or raped. She also added that the she is facing a social boycott and is being called ‘anti-Hindu’ for taking up the case.
According to a report published in The Times of India, the father sought security for the victim’s family and lawyers representing them.
Moreover, the victim’s father has moved a plea in the Supreme Court asking for the transfer of the case to Chandigarh.
The Supreme Court on Monday had asked Jammu and Kashmir court to reply by April 27 whether a plea to transfer the Kathua rape and murder case from the state’s courts to Chandigarh should be allowed.
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said that the trial won’t be shifted outside the state and is likely to be conducted in a Jammu court on fast track basis.
The Minister for law, Abdul Haq Khan told English Daily Greater Kashmir that the Jammu and Kashmir Government was committed to a fair and speedy trial in the case. He said there were more than 100 witnesses in the case who would not be able to travel outside the state for deposition.