Hathras case: SC reserves order on court-monitored CBI probe, transfer of case from UP to Delhi

15 October, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

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The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved order on allowing court-monitored CBI probe and transfer of the case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. The bench will also decide whether the victim's family and w...

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on whether to transfer the Hathras case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi after completion of the probe and whether the CBI probe should be monitored by the top court or the Allahabad High Court.

A bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, said it will also decide whether the Uttar Pradesh police or Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will provide security to victim’s family members and witnesses.
The bench reserved the order after hearing counsels of all the parties on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a court-monitored CBI probe and transfer of the case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, informed the court about the affidavit filed by it yesterday detailing the security deployments outside the house of the victim and protection to her family and witness.

Mehta also informed the court that the victim’s family has engaged advocate Seema Kushwaha as their private lawyer but as the government, we say that a government lawyer should also be assigned in the case.

Advocate Seema Kushwaha, appearing for the victim’s family, told the court that the trial of the case should be shifted to Delhi. On Kushwaha’s submission to transfer the case to Delhi, the bench said, “I think last time all the counsels very fairly suggested that this matter must go to Allahabad High Court.”

Mehta said that the victim’s family wants the Supreme Court to supervise and added that the Uttar Pradesh government has no problem with that saying this is not adversarial. After that, CJI Bobde observed, “Let the High Court deal with this and we will supervise in the sense we are the ultimate supervisor and appellate body.”

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, an intervener in the case, said that we want a special Public Prosecutor to be appointed by this Court to argue the case. “We are also not satisfied by the witness protection given by the UP government, this case is against the State of UP. CRPF deployment may be done similar to the Unnao case,” Jaising said.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for one of the accused persons, submitted that the investigation reports should not be made public by the victim’s family or the state and claimed that the accused will not get a fair trial in the matter. On the accused plea, the CJI told him to go to the High Court noting, “we are not entertaining this”.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police, said that the CRPF could be posted for family security but the court should clarify that it is no reflection on UP police. “Whoever wants the protection to be handed over to the CRPF, we are fine with that but let that not be a reflection on the UP Police. The court may clarify that,” Salve said.

Mehta also said that that the CRPF is not required and the State is completely non-partisan.