Expedite probe in Bulandshahr highway gangrape case, SC tells CBI
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to continue with its investigation into the gangrape of a minor girl and her mother on the national highway in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr and complete it expeditiously.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan asked the CBI to continue with the investigation after Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told them that the CBI was already investigating the case on the direction of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.
He informed the bench that the high court by its August 12 order had transferred the investigation from Uttar Pradesh Police to the CBI and the probe agency, after registering am FIR on August 18, commenced investigation into the gangrape case.
Endorsing the decision of the high court, the bench lifted its August 29 order putting the investigation on the hold. The top court had on August 29 stayed the investigation on a plea by the victim minor victim’s father seeking transfer of investigation to an agency outside Uttar Pradesh.
The court had on August 29 issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government on the plea by the minor victim’s father. In the course of the last hearing, the bench was not informed that high court had already transferred the case from the state police to the CBI.
Asking the High Court not to proceed with the hearing of matter as it has taken over, the bench said that on September 27 – the next date of hearing, it would decide on transferring of trial outside Uttar Pradesh.
“Whether the trial (in the case) will be transferred to another court (outside the state) will be considered on September 27,” said Justice Misra.
The investigation by the Uttar Pradesh Police came under cloud after state Urban Development Minister and ruling Samajwadi Party’s senior leader Azam Khan described the alleged gangrape as a political conspiracy. The victim’s father has sought registration of FIR against him.
The top court had issued notice to Azam Khan in the last hearing, saying one can understand if accused makes a statement brushing away the offence alleged against him but how can a person in authority, who has nothing to with it, comment on the crime.
In the last hearing of the matter, the court had appointed senior counsel Fali Nariman as amicus curiae to assist the court in addressing four issues framed by it, including whether a person in a position of authority in the state could comment on a crime involving rape, murder or any other heinous offence, and whether such comments should be allowed as they create doubts in the mind of the victim about a fair trial.
The minor girl and her mother were allegedly gang raped on the national highway near Bulandshahr while on their way to their ancestral village on July 29. The girl’s father has told the court that minor victim suffered trauma for five hours in his and other family members’ presence and when they called police, it did not respond for 25 minutes.