'Hathras incident- Horrible!', SC directs UP to inform on steps to protect witnesses

NewsBharati    06-Oct-2020
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New Delhi, October 6: Terming as 'horrible' the Hathras incident, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to inform it by October 8 about the steps taken to protect witnesses in the case in which a Dalit girl was allegedly brutally raped and died due to injuries. The apex court directed the UP government to file an affidavit in this regard and also ascertain whether the victim's family has chosen a lawyer.

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The apex court observation came while hearing a PIL during which the state government expressed willingness to refer the investigation to the CBI on the ground that fake narratives were being spread about the case with political motives. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said it will ensure that the investigation is smooth in the case. The top court also asked all parties appearing before it to give suggestions on the scope of proceedings before the Allahabad high court and how the apex court can make it more relevant.
 
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, said, Narratives after narratives being spread in Hathras case, this this needs to be stopped." The CBI probe in Hathras case will ensure no vested interests will be able to create fake, false narrative with oblique motives, Mehta told the court. The state government told the top court that probe in Hathras case may be conducted by the CBI under the apex court's supervision. Mehta said the state government is not opposing the plea for a fair probe by the CBI or a Special Investigation Team and said a young innocent girl has lost her life, but nobody should sensationalise it. Investigation should be fair, appear fair.
 
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for few intervenors, asked the top court to provide protection to the victim's family. Jaising said the family has expressed that they are not satisfied with the CBI taking up the case and said an SIT, monitored by the apex court, should probe the case.
 
The government said that it itself prays to the top court to keep PIL filed by social activist Satyama Dubey pending allowing the investigation by CBI to be conducted under the supervision of this court in a time bound manner. 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.
 
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