Hathras case in Supreme Court: Fair probe to witness protection, quick guide on what happened in court today

The Uttar Pradesh government insisted on a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the Hathras case and Supreme Court has said it will ensure a smooth investigation and also asked the administration to file a detailed affidavit on the steps taken to give protection to the victim’s family.

Hearing of the PIL seeking CBI probe into the Hathras alleged rape case has been scheduled for next week.

What happened in Supreme Court today as the Hathras case moved to top court:

1. The Uttar Pradesh government told Supreme Court that a CBI probe monitored by the court is necessary in the Hathras. The Uttar Pradesh government, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “There are narratives and narratives but the sad truth is that a young girl has lost her life. Let the court monitor the probe.”

2. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising insisted on the need to protect the family of the 19-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly gang-raped by a group of upper-caste men. Jaising said, “At the present moment, protection for the family of the Hathras victim is highly important. A fair investigation warrants protection for the family.”

3. To this, Supreme Court asked the UP government to file an affidavit detailing the witness protection efforts on ground in the Hathras case. “We want it on affidavit on how Hathras case witnesses are being protected. We want you (SG Tushar Mehta) to ascertain whether victim’s family has chosen a lawyer,” said the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde on Tuesday.

4. CJI Bobde also said, “We want to know the scope of Allahabad High Court proceedings how we can widen it and make it relevant.” The Allahabad High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the Hathras case and summoned UP Police personnel. The court had also asked the Hathras victim’s family to be present for the hearing.

5. During the hearing, CJI Bobde said, “This is shocking and we are not denying this. It is an extraordinary incident. We are talking about invoking our jurisdiction.”

6. Advocate Indira Jaising also insisted that the SC/ST Act must be invoked in the Hathras case and the matter must be transferred to Delhi as was done in the Unnao rape case.

7. CJI Bobde asked Indira Jaising, “Are you asking for the trial to be transferred or the investigation to be transferred? The incident is extraordinary and shocking that is why we are hearing you but otherwise we are not sure if you have locus in this criminal case.”

CJI Bobde also said, “We are not saying this is not a shocking case, or that we don’t appreciate your involvement in the case, but we are only trying to say that your client may not have locus in the case. Your assistance is appreciated, but let us listen to the petitioner.”

8. As calls for witness protection were raised for the Hathras alleged rape victim’s family, the UP government said that the family is being given police protection.

9. CJI Bobde finally told the UP government, “We want it on affidavit on how Hathras case witnesses are being protected. We want you (UP government) to ascertain whether victim’s family has chosen a lawyer. We want to know the scope of Allahabad HC proceedings how we can widen it and make it relevant.”

10. The PIL will be again taken up by Supreme Court next week. Supreme Court has asked the UP government to file an affidavit by Wednesday on how witnesses are being protected in the Hathras case.



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