SC shifts trial in custodial death case to Chandigarh

The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred trial of Himachal Pradesh IG police and other personnel from Shimla to Chandigarh in a case of custodial death of a man.

The police officers were accused of killing a man, who was arrested on a charge of gang-raping a minor school girl in Kotkhai in Shimla district in 2017, following a huge public outcry.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna directed for shifting the trial on a plea by the CBI, represented by senior advocate Aishwarya Bhati.

The counsel for the accused police personnel did not oppose it.

The top court had in April, this year granted bail IG police Zahur Haider Zaidi and sought to know a response from accused policemen as to why the trial in the case should not be shifted out from Shimla to some other place.

Zaidi and seven others were arrested in the custodial death case of Suraj, who was found dead at the Kotkhai police station on July 18, 2017.

The CBI has already filed the charge sheet against the accused.

A 16-year-old girl had gone missing in Kotkhai on July 4, 2017, and her body was found from the Halaila forests on July 6 then.

The post-mortem report had confirmed rape and murder and a case was registered.

Amid a huge public outcry in the state, an SIT headed by Zaidi was constituted. The SIT arrested six persons, one of whom died in the police station, following which the high court handed over the investigations of both cases to the CBI on July 19.

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