SC asks govt to pro­tect vic­tim’s kin, lawyer; ac­cused plead for narco test

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS -

THE Supreme Court does not favour hand­ing over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the rape-and-mur­der of an eightyear-old girl in Kathua from the crime branch of Jammu and Kash­mir Po­lice to the CBI as her fa­ther ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion car­ried out so far.

“In the ab­sence of any al­le­ga­tion, why should we enter into this as to who should in­ves­ti­gate,” a bench headed by Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Mishra said, adding that it was “the pri­mary duty of the state po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate a case”.

The fa­ther ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the probe con­ducted so far by the state po­lice, while ve­he­mently op­pos­ing the plea of se­nior ad­vo­cate Bhim Singh and Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Ka­pur that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be trans­ferred to the CBI.

The SC how­ever, di­rected the Jammu and Kash­mir gov­ern­ment to pro­vide se­cu­rity to the vic­tim’s fam­ily, their lawyer and a fam­ily friend as­sist­ing them in pros­e­cut­ing the case. “As an in­terim mea­sure, it is di­rected that the J&K Po­lice to beef up the se­cu­rity and pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity per­son­nel to the fam­ily, Deepika Singh Ra­jawat and fam­ily friend Talid Hus­sain,” the bench said.

It also sought re­sponse of the state gov­ern­ment by April 27, the next date of hear­ing, to the spe­cific prayer that the trial in the case be trans­ferred out of Kathua court to Chandi­garh in view of the com­mu­nally sur­charged at­mos­phere pre­vail­ing in Jammu town. The bench also di­rected the state po­lice to pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity to the ju­ve­nile delin­quent, who has been picked up in the case at the ob­ser­va­tion home under the law. It said that it will only hear the per­sons re­lated to the case.

Mean­while in Kathua, seven of the eight ac­cused were pro­duced be­fore District and Ses­sions Judge San­jay Gupta, who asked the state Crime Branch to give them copies of the chargesheet and fixed April 28 as the next date of hear­ing. The ju­ve­nile ac­cused moved a bail ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate. The mat­ter was posted for April 26.

Spe­cial po­lice of­fi­cer Deepak Kha­juria, who is al­leged to have re­peat­edly raped the child, told re­porters from the po­lice van that he was also de­mand­ing a narco test. As the trial be­gan in­side the court, main ac­cused Sanji Ram’s daugh­ter Madhu Sharma protested out­side, de­mand­ing a CBI probe.

Mean­while in the back­drop of the Un­nao and Kathua rape cases, a group of re­tired civil ser­vants has writ­ten to Prime Min­is­ter Modi hold­ing him re­spon­si­ble for the “ter­ri­fy­ing state of af­fairs”. In­stead of own­ing up and mak­ing repa­ra­tions, the PM chose to re­main quiet, break­ing his si­lence only when pub­lic out­rage both in In­dia and in­ter­na­tion­ally reached a point when he could no longer ig­nore it, the 49 for­mer bu­reau­crats have said.

Prime ac­cused Sanji Ram (r) and the oth­ers be­ing pro­duced in the District Court in Kathua on Mon­day

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