Kathua rape & murder case: Supreme Court rejects plea seeking CBI probe

The accused had moved the top court claiming that police investigation was “motivated”. On Friday, the apex court ruled that any infirmities in the investigation can be raised during the ongoing trial

PTI 
PTI

NH Web Desk

The Supreme Court on Friday, October 5, turned down the plea seeking CBI probe into the Kathua rape and murder case, maintaining that there was no need to order fresh probe.

A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud dismissed the petition filed by the son of one of the main accused persons in the case, observing that there were no grounds to order fresh probe and interfere with the ongoing trial.

The hearing of the rape and murder case is ongoing on a day to day basis in a Pathankot court. Amid growing acrimony in May, the Supreme Court had transferred the trail outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab

The accused had moved court claiming that the police investigation was "motivated", pointing out that the investigation team had been changed thrice in the case and contended that some of the officers of Crime Branch who finally probed the matter also had cases against them.

But the top court ruled that infirmities in the investigation, if any, can be raised during the ongoing trial, which is almost over now.

The deceased girl had gone missing on January 10 and over the next week, she was drugged, starved, gangraped and then brutally murdered, according to the chilling details in the charge sheet. Her battered body was spotted by villagers on January 17. The incident not only created fissures in the People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party state coalition government but also brought to the fore fault lines in state’s polity.

Earlier, the J&K Police Crime Branch, which probed the case, had filed the main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua.

Currently, the hearing of the rape and murder case is ongoing on a day to day basis in a Pathankot court. Amid growing acrimony in May, the Supreme Court had transferred the trail outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had directed that the trial in the case should be held in-camera and ordered that the trial be fast-tracked and conducted on a day-to-day basis to avoid any delay.

One of its prominent BJP MLAs and a former minister, Choudhary Lal Singh, has been holding rallies to garner popular support in favour of the demand for CBI probe since he was ousted from the state’s coalition government. However, advocate Ankur Sharma, one of the lawyers defending the accused in the Kathua rape-and-murder case, told a local daily on Thursday, October 4: “This is for the first time that Supreme Court will hear a petition filed by accused seeking CBI probe into the case.”

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Published: 5 Oct 2018, 3:12 PM