SC orders CBI probe into 2012 Dalit woman murder

Apex court directs probe agency after HC rejects petition

SC orders CBI probe into 2012 Dalit woman murder

The Supreme Court has directed CBI probe into the 2012 murder of a Dalit woman whose minor daughter was also raped, ruling that the starting of trial could not come in the way of ordering fresh probe.

“The power to order fresh, de-novo or re-investigation being vested with the constitutional courts, the commencement of a trial and examination of some witnesses cannot be an absolute impediment for exercising the said constitutional power which is meant to ensure a fair and just investigation,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant stated.

The court allowed the plea by a man from Karnal in Haryana, challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, which rejected his petition for a CBI probe into the killing of his wife on September 2, 2012. Some of the accused were also involved in the rape of his minor daughter in August 2012. They had also threatened the victim, forcing the authorities to give police protection.

The high court has declined his request for the CBI investigation even though the Haryana government favoured it, noting that the trial has begun and some of the witnesses had already been examined.

It even disregarded the fact some of the police officers connected to the case were transferred and even demoted as part of department action.

Overturning the high court decision, the apex court said it can never be forgotten that as the great ocean has only one test, the test of salt, so does justice have one flavour, the flavour of answering to the distress of the people without any discrimination.

The fair trial may be quite difficult unless there is a fair investigation, it said. “We are disposed to think that purpose of justice commands that the cause of the victim, the husband of the deceased deserves to be answered so that miscarriage of justice is avoided. Therefore, in this case the stage of the case cannot be the governing factor,” the bench said, directing the trial court not to proceed till the CBI completed its investigation and filed its report.

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