Hathras rape: SC asks Allahabad HC to monitor CBI probe

Hathras rape case: SC asks Allahabad HC to monitor CBI probe

Police personnel cremate the body of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was brutally gang-raped two weeks ago, in the wee hours, in Hathras district, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to monitor itself the CBI probe into the Hathras case of an alleged gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, saying the Allahabad High Court was already looking into all aspects of the matter.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said all issues including security of the victim's family and witnesses would be considered by the High Court.

The top court passed its judgement on a batch of PILs led by Satyama Dubey.

With regard to plea for shifting the case out of Uttar Pradesh, the court said the issue is kept open and would be considered if required, once the CBI probe is complete.

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Notably, the High Court had taken Suo Motu cognisance of the matter after reports emerged that district administration forcefully the cremated body of the victim without the presence of family members.

On October 15, the court had indicated to refer multiple pleas, including one related to the monitoring of the CBI probe into the case to the Allahabad High Court. The court had then reserved the judgement. 

During the hearing then, the victim's family sought transfer of trial to Delhi, the accused sought a restraint order on discussing evidence in the matter and the Uttar Pradesh government agreed to provide security to the girl's family by central police.

The Uttar Pradesh government faced flak on alleged lapses of officials in cremating the victim's body on the night of September 29-30. Four accused were arrested in the September 15 incident.

The state government had earlier asked the court to allow the CBI to continue the probe under its own supervision into the incident.

In an affidavit, the state government listed out steps taken for security and protection provided to the family members of the girl, which included the deployment of armed constabulary, civil police and personal security and installation of eight CCTV cameras. 

The case, which drew country-wide outrage has been referred by the Uttar Pradesh government to the CBI, which has already started its probe.