On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Allahabad High Court will look after all aspects of the Hathras case, where a 19-year-old girl was allegedly killed by strangulation. The order was reserved on October 15.
While refusing to comment on the merits of the case, a 3-Bench Judge of the Supreme Court comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices V Ramasubramanian and AS Bopanna had stated that the High Court must take up the matter first. The CJI highlighted on how the scope of the case can be enlarged by the Allahabad High Court. The apex court passed the order after several petitions were filed seeking for an independent probe, transfer of the case outside of Uttar Pradesh to Delhi and assurance of witness protection in the case.
Supreme Court says all aspects of #HathrasCase, including security to the victim’s family & witnesses etc. will be looked by Allahabad High Court.— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2020
Court further said that CBI will file its status reports in Allahabad High Court https://t.co/CMkUtokVmf
Other intervenors had sought for the deployment of CRPF personnel for ensuring the security of the family, in light of the allegations against the Uttar Pradesh police. The Director-General of Police (Uttar Pradesh) did not oppose the request but it was stated that entertaining such requests would send a message against the police force. The Court was informed that the victim’s family had engaged two lawyers and have requested for the appointment of a government lawyer, following allegations of solicitation against some lawyers.
UP government files affidavit in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court had earlier asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit, highlighting the steps taken for witness protection. The State government had provided details of all security measures, such as the installation of CCTV cameras, taken to protect the family of the victim. The government has however maintained that it was not taking the particular case as adversarial litigation.
During the submission, Advocate Indira Jaising claimed that they do not expect a fair trial in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The investigation has already been botched up in the state, and the police have failed to write down a number to the FIR registered in the case. Thus, the case should be monitored by a constitutional court. Jaising asked the court to transfer the case from Allahabad to Delhi and mentioned that Adv Khushwaha has already submitted a request in the context.