Kathua rape-murder case: Supreme Court transfers case to Pathankot, orders day-to-day hearing

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New Delhi | Updated: May 7, 2018 4:09:23 PM

The victim, who was just eight years old, was from minority nomadic community. She disappeared from her village in Kathua on January 10. Her body was found in the nearby jungle a week later.

Supreme Court, Kathua, Kathua rape case, Kathua gangrape, CBI, CBI probe, Kathua rape chargesheet, Kashmir, Kathua gangrape caseSupreme Court transfers Kathua gangrape case to Pathankot

The Supreme Court today shifted the trial in gangrape and murder of a minor girl to Pathankot in Punjab from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir on the grounds that justice should be delivered to the victim’s family. The Supreme Court passed this order based upon guiding principles. Now, the Pathankot court will hear the case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also ordered that the trial be conducted in-camera. The apex court also fast-tracked the hearing in the case and ordered hearing on a day-to-day basis to ensure speedy justice. Besides, the SC said Jammu and Kashmir can appoint a special prosecutor in the case.

In its order, the top court said it is extremely worrying about the fairness of the trial and hence it should be shifted out of the state. The court also noted it is the responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir government to provide protection to victim’s family and witnesses as well. The top court also made it clear that trial in the case be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code.

On the victim’s father’s plea to transfer the probe to the CBI, the apex court refused to pass any order and fixed July 9 as the next date of hearing. The court, however, noted that since the matter has been transferred to a Pathankot court, it would be be fair to let the state’s High Court hear the plea for a CBI probe.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that security is the prime concern and assured that adequate security will be provided to the victim’s family and witnesses.

The victim, who was just eight years old, was from minority nomadic community. She disappeared from her village in Kathua on January 10. Her body was found in the nearby jungle a week later.

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