Guwahati: The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided against immediately transferring the trial into the alleged gang-rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh last month.
The Court said that Allahbad High Court will monitor the CBI probe into the case. Stating that the plea for transfer of trial out of Uttar Pradesh will be considered after the CBI probe is completed, the bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also said that the HC will look into all aspects of the case and witnesses will be provided security.
A bench comprising of CJI Bobde, justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian had on October 15 reserved its verdict on public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a court-monitored probe by Satyama Dubey, a social activist.
Several women lawyers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have also joined in with the demand to shift the trial outside UP and provide safety to witnesses in the case. They have also argued that a fair trial was not possible in Uttar Pradesh as the probe has allegedly been botched up.
At present, the UP Police authorities are providing round-the-clock protection to the witnesses and family members of the victim. The petitioners demanded Central forces to take over the security duties from UP duties from UP Police.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper caste men on September 14 and was referred to Safdarjung Hospital in an extremely critical condition. She succumbed to her injuries two weeks later on spetember 29.
The accused – Sandeep (20), his uncle Ravi (35) and their friends Ramu (26) and Luv Kush (23) – have been booked on charges of murder, gandrape and under the SC/ST Act.
The woman’s death had sparked protest across the country, with opposition parties calling for chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation.