The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided against immediately transferring the trial into the alleged gang-rape and death of a young dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh last month.
The Supreme Court also transferred all proceedings of the Hathras case to the Allahabad High Court and directed it to monitor the CBI probe into the case. The Supreme Court directed the CBI to approach the Allahabad High Court with updates on the probe.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian had on October 15 reserved its verdict on a public interest litigation (PIL) and several intervention pleas of activists and lawyers who have argued that a fair trial was not possible in Uttar Pradesh as the probe has allegedly been botched up.
Bobde was quoted by Live Law as saying, "So far as the transfer of the case to Delhi of the Hathras Case is concerned, it is appropriate for the agency [CBI] to conclude the investigation and the transfer issue is kept open."
Previously, The lawyer appearing for the victim's family had told the Supreme Court that the trial in the case be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital after completion of investigation.
The 19-year-old dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.
The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30. Her family alleged they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".
During the hearing in the apex court, activist-lawyer Indira Jaising had also raised apprehension of not having a fair trial in the case in Uttar Pradesh.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had referred to the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the Uttar Pradesh government that gave details about the security and protection provided to the victim's family and witnesses in the case.
The state government, which has already transferred the case to the CBI and has given consent to monitoring by the Supreme Court, had filed the affidavit after the top court sought details on witness protection and on whether the victim's family has chosen a lawyer.