SC allows J&K govt. to file status report in Kathua case

Ceria Alfonso
May 17, 2018

In an interim order on Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to provide protection to the witnesses of the Kathua gang-rape and murder.

The petitioners, who are classmates of one of the accused persons, Vishal Jangotra, were summoned as witnesses by the police. The court's directive came after three witnesses in the case had alleged torture by the state police during the investigation.

The Counsel for the respondent said that these three students, who are witnesses, in this case, have made false statements and are apprehensive of being exposed now which has led to this claim of torture. The statements in question against the accused were recorded under Section 164 CrPC before a magistrate which is admissible in court as evidence.

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Earlier, the apex court had transferred the trial in the sensational Kathua gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab, but had refrained from handing over the probe to CBI saying there was no need as the investigation has been conducted and the charge sheet filed. The victim, belonging to a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.

The Supreme Court today allowed three witnesses in the Kathua case to be accompanied by their family members while recording statements before the Jammu & Kashmir Police.

The respondent also told the Court that they wish to file a supplementary charge sheet in light of the fresh material that has emerged.

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