The Supreme Court of India on Monday transferred the trial in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab. The court however ruled out a CBI inquiry into the case, reports said.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was hearing petitions seeking shifting of the trial to Chandigarh and handing over the investigation to the CBI. The court allowed Jammu and Kashmir government to appoint a public prosecutor and said the state government should provide security to the victim’s family, their lawyer and witnesses in the case, the Hindustan Times reported.
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 apex court had earlier given a stern warning and said it would transfer the case from the local court in the “slightest possibility” of lack of fair trial, saying the “real concern” was to hold proper prosecution.
The victim belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal community had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in the Jammu region on 10 January. Her body was found in the same area a week later. The charge sheet filed by police’s Crime Branch revealed how the girl was kidnapped, drugged and gang raped inside a temple before being killed.