Hathras Case: SC orders CRPF protection to victim’s family & witnesses

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, while disposing petitions connected with Hathras gang-rape and murder case, has directed that the security to the victim’s family and the witnesses shall be provided by the CRPF within a week.

The CJI SA Bobde led bench said that it is ‘convinced that steps have been taken by the State Government to make adequate arrangement for security to the victim’s family and witnesses’.

However, in a matter of the present nature it is necessary to address the normal perception and pessimism which cannot be said as being without justification, the court added.

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“In that view, without casting any aspersions on the security personnel of the State Police; in order to allay all apprehensions and only as a confidence building measure,

we find it appropriate to direct that the security to the victim’s family and the witnesses shall be provided by the CRPF within a week from today”, the bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian ordered.

The Court also directed the Allahabad High Court to monitor the ongoing the CBI probe into the Hathras gang-rape and murder case. The CBI shall report to the High Court in the manner as would be directed by the High Court through its orders from time to time, the bench observed.

As regards the plea for transfer of trial outside the State of Uttar Pradesh, the bench stated that the question of transfer is left open until the investigation is completed.

“On this aspect we are also of the view that it would be appropriate for investigating agency to complete the investigation and in any event since the local police have been divested of the investigation and the CBI is carrying out the investigation there would be no room for apprehensions at this stage.

However, the issue as to whether the trial of the case is to be transferred is a matter which is kept open to be considered if need arises in future.”, the Court said.

The court refused to pass any specific orders regarding appointment of Special Public Prosecutor.

“This is an aspect which could be considered by the High Court in the light of the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

In the circumstance wherein the family members of the victim have chosen to engage Ms. Seema Kushwaha and Mr. Raj Ratan, Advocates, they would consider these aspects and make request on behalf of the victim in accordance with law if such need arises.”, it said.

The Court also noted that in an order passed by the Allahabad High Court the name and relationship of the family members with the victim has been revealed.

“Since it is a requirement of law to avoid such disclosure, the High Court is requested to delete the same and also morph the same in the digital records and avoid indication of such contents in future.”, the bench directed.

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