SC Asks Allahabad HC to Monitor Hathras Probe, No Transfer Yet
The apex court had reserved its order after the UP govt said it was fine with the HC monitoring the investigation.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 27 October, held that the investigation into the alleged gang rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras would be monitored by the Allahabad High Court, with the investigators to submit periodic reports to the high court.
The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde noted that they would not make any observations on the merits of the case or issues like witness protection, which would be considered by the Allahabad High Court.
However, the court declined to order a transfer of the case at this time, noting that once the Central Bureau of Investigation completed its investigation, it could then consider whether there was a need to ask for a transfer of the trial. It noted that with an independent agency like the CBI now probing the case, concerns of interference by the local police no longer arose, though the question of transfer would be left open.
The orders were passed in connection with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by social activist Satyama Dubey and advocates Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav, which had sought a court-monitored investigation and the transfer of the case from the UP government to Delhi.
The apex court on 15 October had reserved its orders on the petition and suggested the Allahabad High Court supervise the probe.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the UP government, had informed the court that UP did not object to a demand for a court-monitored probe, and the filing of periodic reports. However, he and the bench had objected to the attempts to intervene in the case by activists like Teesta Setalvad and women’s groups like those represented by senior advocate Indira Jaising.
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