Kathua Rape Case: SC issues notice to J&K Government; directs to provide protection to the family

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir government over the petition of the Kathua rape and murder victim’s family to transfer the case from Kathua to Chandigarh.

In the apex court, the victim’s father, through his counsel, said that he was pleased with the state and that the police had done a good job with the investigation. ‘The accused have been forensically and physically identified. This is the kind of investigation some people want to derail’, the family’s counsel said in the Supreme Court.

“The victim’s biological father is very much satisfied with the investigation that has been conducted by the crime branch”, the 8-year-old rape and murder victim’s family’s counsel said,

Speaking to reporters, the family’s counsel Deepika Singh Rajawat added that the family doesn’t believe they will get a fair trial in Kathua and that the Supreme Court had been requested by the victim’s family to monitor any further investigations.

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Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra who presided over the hearing said that the focus is on the victims. ‘The Supreme Court will go by principles of fair trial and victim protection. At this stage we won’t enter into who should investigate the case and who shouldn’t.’

The apex court directed that adequate security and protection be given to the victim’s family and lawyer.

The date for the next hearing has been scheduled for April 27. Meanwhile, the Kathua district court has postponed the date of hearing in the case to April 28. All the accused had been brought to the court on Monday.

A nationwide outrage was triggered last Monday after the chargesheet that was filed in the case by the J&K crime branch revealed the horrific details of the 8-year-old’s abduction, sedation, gang rape and murder over seven days in January. The chargesheet was filed amid opposition from local lawyers who, along with fringe groups such as the Hindu Ekta Manch, had been involved in communally-toned protests in support of the accused and had demanded a CBI probe. Nine persons, including four police officers, have been arrested in the case.

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