New Delhi, Apr 27: The Supreme Court Friday stayed the trial of the Kathua gangrape and murder case while hearing petition seeking transfer of the trial out of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and handing over the investigation of the gruesome case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and the newly sworn-in Justice Indu Malhotra directed the trial listed for Saturday in Kathua be stayed and posted 7 May as the next date of hearing of the pleas.
The victim’s father approached the apex court, seeking the trial be conducted outside the state as some lawyers allegedly obstructed court proceedings and threatened the advocate representing the family.
Subsequently two prime accused in the case – Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra – approached the SC opposing the transfer of the trial. They also seek the investigation to be handed over to the CBI, claiming they are framed by the state police.
The J&K Police chargesheet alleges the eight-year-old victim was drugged and gangraped for days before being killed and mutilated.
Friday’s hearing was full of heated exchanges between rival counsels, sources present said.
The counsel for the accused claimed the police investigation was mala fide and tainted; and the accused have been falsely implicated; also that the accused were ready to undergo a narcoanalysis.
The family’s counsel, Indira Jaising, on the other hand, affirmed the police investigation and argued for transferring the trail to Chandigarh for ensuring free trial and preventing further obstruction to court proceedings.
“The lawyers who obstructed were celebrating on the social media that your lordship made no strong observations,” said Jaising referring to the Bar Council of India (BCI), which has not just dismissed the claims of obstruction by lawyers but even has endorsed handing over the probe to the CBI.