HW English

Kathua trial moved to Pathankot, SC rules out CBI probe

The case involving the horrific gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua will be heard by a court in Pathankot, the Supreme Court said today. The transfer demand came from the child’s family after their advocate faced huge obstruction from lawyers at a Jammu court during the filing of the charge sheet.

The top court also issued directives to District and Sessions Judge in Pathankot to personally undertake trial proceedings and not assign it to any additional sessions judge. The court also said that it will continue to monitor the progress in the trial from time to time.

Earlier on 27 April, the apex court had stayed the trial in the case till 7 May, after it was seized with petitions, one seeking to shift the trial from Jammu to Chandigarh, and another seeking that investigation to be handed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra had said it would deal with the prayer of the victim’s father for shifting the trial to Chandigarh, and the plea of the accused seeking handing over the probe to the CBI.

Eight men have been charge-sheeted by the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police for brutally abducting, gangraping and murdering an eight-year-old Bakarwal girl in a forest in Kathua district in January.

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