Allahabad HC May Shift Trial as Hathras Victim’s Kin Threatened
The Allahabad HC has asked for an inquiry into the allegations of the attack that took place inside the trial court.
The family and counsel of the 19-year-old Dalit girl who succumbed after being allegedly gang-raped by four Thakur men in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras were charged at and threatened in open court on 5 March, LiveLaw reported. Following the incident, the Allahabad High Court on Friday, 19 March, directed an inquiry into the allegations.
The Lucknow bench of the High Court has also said that it will consider staying or transferring the trial out of the western UP district. It noted that the CBI too intends to file an application for "transfer of the trial from Hathras district to elsewhere within the state," NDTV reported.
As per the affidavit submitted before the court, on 5 March, during the hearing of the case in a special court in Hathras, an advocate named Tarun Hari Sharma, stormed into the courtroom and charged at the applicant and the complainant counsel, shouting and issuing threats, NDTV reported.
It was "evident that the man was under the influence of alcohol," the affidavit stated.
A large mob, including lawyers, had entered the courtroom and surrounded the victim's brother and counsel, Seema Kushwaha, the report added.
The affidavit submits that due to the circumstances, the learned presiding judge was forced to stop the trial proceedings. When the advocate was asked to leave, he allegedly threatened the family and the counsel.
The Hathras court has acknowledged “the real and grave threat" to the applicant’s counsel, and ordered police personnel to present in the courtroom to provide her security cover in the court premises, NDTV reported.
Taking note of the submissions, the court directed the district judge of Hathras to enquire into the allegations and send his report in this regard to this court in a sealed cover.
Posting the matter to 7 April for further hearing, the high court warned that if anyone tried to disrupt the proceedings before the trial court or in any manner attempted to threaten the life, liberty, and property of the victim's family and the witnesses, the court would be taking severe action, including contempt proceedings, against the person.
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