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Hathras case: SC reserves order on PILs seeking independent probe

By Astha Joshi-

The Supreme Court today heard Public Interest Litigations (PILs) seeking transfer of the trial, witness protection, and independent probe monitored by the court in the Hathras gang-rape and murder case.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubramanian had heard the PILs and reserved the verdict.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, requested the top court to monitor the investigation.

Advocate Seema Khushwaha, engaged by the victim’s family, asked for the transfer of the trial to Delhi.

Mentioning that it is not permissible to reveal the identity of the victim according to the CrPC, SG Mehta raised concerns over the revelation of the victim’s identity in the Allahabad High Court.

CJI responded, “We can delete that suo motu.”

Senior Counsel Indira Jaising, for one intervenor, asked the court to appoint a Special Public Prosecutor.

She further demanded witness protection by the state was not satisfactory as the case is against the State of Uttar Pradesh. She said, “CRPF deployment may be done similar to Unnao case.”

Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing the DGP, said, “Request has been made to deploy CRPF. Whoever Your Lordships feel should provide security should be deployed, but this should not be any way seen as a reflection on the UP Police.”