Let Allahabad HC Deal with Hathras Case, Says SC on Pleas Stating No Fair Trial Possible in UP

Let Allahabad HC Deal with Hathras Case, Says SC on Pleas Stating No Fair Trial Possible in UP

The Supreme Court Thursday said the Allahabad High Court be allowed to monitor the Hathras case in which a Dalit girl was allegedly brutally raped and died of injuries. The top court, which was hearing a PIL and several intervention pleas of activists and lawyers, was told that no fair trial was possible in Uttar Pradesh as the investigation has been allegedly botched up.

Allaying the apprehension, a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, said, “Let the high court deal with it. We are here if there is any problem. Besides Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the hearing saw battery of senior advocates like Harish Salve, Indira Jaising and Siddharth Luthra appearing for various parties.

There were other lawyers who wanted to argue but the apex court said We don’t need assistance of the whole world.

The hearing also witnessed deliberations that in no case the victim’s identity be disclosed and her family members and witnesses be given full security and protection. The lawyer, appearing for the victim’s family, demanded that the proceedings of the case be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital.

The apprehension of not having the fair trial in the state was also raised by activist-lawyer Indira Jaising who also made submissions on witness protection.
At the outset, the Solicitor General referred to recent affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh government which gave details about the security and protection provided to the victim’s family and witnesses in the case.

The state government which has already transferred the case to the CBI and has given consent to monitoring by the apex court had filed the affidavit after the top court sought details on witness protection and on whether the victim’s family has chosen a lawyer.
The Supreme Court should direct that nobody should collect money in the name of victim. We have seen this in the past. I oppose this IA, Mehta said. One of the intervenors argued that probe into the case should be conducted by a court-monitored special investigating team.

During the hearing before the bench, also comprising Justice A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, advocate Seema Kushwaha, appearing for the victim’s family, said they want that after investigation, the trial be held in a court in Delhi. She said that CBI should be asked to submit the status report of investigation directly in the apex court.
Mehta said factual position is that the state government had already said it has no objection and anybody can conduct the probe and CBI has taken over the investigation on October 10. The law officer said that victim’s identity should not be revealed in any manner as it is not permissible under the law.

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