SC transfers Kathua case to Pathankot

The Supreme Court vacated the stay on the trial of the Kathua gang rape and murder case and transferred it outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the trial should be held in-camera, be fast-tracked and conducted on a day-today basis to avoid any delay, specifying that the proceedings would be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, which is applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.

The apex court further stressed that the trial must be fair to the victim’s family as well as the accused. It also ordered continuation of security to the family members of the eight-year old victim, family friends and lawyer representing them and directed translation of statements and records of the case from Urdu to English.

“The security provided to the juvenile accused will continue,” a bench, which also comprised Justices DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, said and posted the matter for further hearing in July when the apex court reopens after the summer vacation.

The bench made it clear that yesterday’s hearing was confined to the issue of shifting the trial of the case out of Jammu and Kashmir.

The girl’s father had moved the apex court, apprehending threat to the family, their friend and their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat. A separate plea was also filed by two accused seeking that the trial in the case be held in Jammu and the probe handed over to the CBI. However, CJI Dipak Misra made it clear, “No other court will hear any case on this issue as we are monitoring it.”

The victim from the nomadic Bakarwal community, had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.

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