SC transfers Kathua rape-murder case to Pathankot
The Supreme Court on Monday transferred the trial in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the trial in the case should be held in-camera and ordered that the trial be fast-tracked and conducted on a day-to-day basis to avoid any delay.
The top court also said the trial would be in accordance with the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court said the trial must be fair to the accused as well as the victim's family.
It also ordered continuation of security to the family members of the victim, family friends and lawyer representing them and directed translation of statements and records of the case from Urdu to English and also.
"The security provided to the juvenile accused will continue," a bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said.
The victim, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.
The apex court had earlier given a stern warning and said it would transfer the Kathua gangrape-and-murder case from the local court in the "slightest possibility" of lack of fair trial, saying the "real concern" was to hold proper prosecution.
The girl's father had moved the apex court earlier, apprehending threat to the family, a 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.
The state police's Crime Branch, which probed the case, filed the main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district last week. The charge sheet revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged and raped inside a place of worship before being killed.