Bulandshahr rape case: Supreme Court asks CBI to serve notice to Azam Khan for his remarks

By: | Updated: September 27, 2016 1:29 PM

Earlier, the Apex Court had asked Khan to appear before the court, which he failed to do so. Yet again, it has ordered CBI to send a notice to him seeking his personal appearance in the matter.

azam khan reuters LAfter the horrific incident, Azam Khan said that the rape of the two women was a “political conspiracy” and also advocated that Islamic laws should be applicable to rape cases and punishment should be meted out within a week.

In the latest development in Bulandshahr rape case, where a mother and daughter were gang raped, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to serve a notice to Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan for his alleged remarks in the case.

After the horrific incident, Azam Khan said that the rape of the two women was a “political conspiracy” and also advocated that Islamic laws should be applicable to rape cases and punishment should be meted out within a week.

Earlier, the Apex Court had asked Khan to appear before the court, which he failed to do so. Yet again, it has ordered CBI to send a notice to him seeking his personal appearance in the matter.

The bench of justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan appointed jurist and senior lawyer F S Nariman as amicus curiae (friend of the court), as it framed some legal questions with regard to freedom of speech and expression and probable impact of statements of those holding high offices on free and fair probe in heinous cases like this. The bench noted the apprehensions of the victim family, represented by lawyer Kislay Pandey, that there was no possibility of a “fair investigation” in Uttar Pradesh in view of the fact that a Minister has allegedly made a public statement that it was a “political conspiracy”.

It further said whether the state, which is “the protector of citizens”, should allow these comments which can have an effect or “may create distrust” with regard to fair investigation in such cases.

The bench, while framing another question, said it would examine whether such statements are covered under the freedom of speech and expression of an individual.

The brutal rape took place on the night on July 29 when a group of highway dacoits stopped a car which a family comprising of a mother and daughter duo. The robbers dragged the two of them out of the vehicle and raped them in the bushes.

In the plea filed in the apex court, the victim’s father sought an order for transferring the trial of the case to Delhi “in the interest of justice”. He also lodged an FIR against Khan for his remarks.

Meanwhile, Khan said, “I have never said anything against the victims and their family members… I have said if four or five similar crimes are committed on a single day, there could be a conspiracy behind it.”

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