The Supreme Court of India rejected the plea to transfer the Kathua gang rape and murder case to the CBI earlier today. A bench comprising Justice U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud said that there was no such reason to interfere in the matter and the accused could raise these issues during the ongoing trial before the lower court at Pathankot in Punjab.
Earlier the district and session court had framed charges under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 376-D (gang rape). It was then that one of the accused had sought fresh investigation in the matter claiming that the probe conducted by the state police’s Crime Branch was “motivated” while the other two accused had moved the apex court seeking a transfer of the probe to an independent agency.
The bench rejected the plea stating that the matter did not require fresh investigation. On May 7, the apex court had vacated the stay on trial of the Kathua gang rape and murder case and transferred it to Pathankot in Punjab. It had also directed that the trial be held in-camera, be fast-tracked and conducted on a day-to-day basis to avoid any delay. It had also stated that the trial should be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code, which is applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
The victim, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community, had gone missing from her home in Rasana village in Kathua on January 10. Her body was subsequently found in the same area, a week later. The Crime Branch investigation then found that the girl was abducted, drugged, gang raped and brutally murdered.