The Supreme Court on Thursday said that its 'real concern' was to see that fair probe was conducted in the sensational Kathua gangrape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old girl. The minor had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.
“Fair trial is the consideration and we are concerned with the interest of victim and accused... If we find the slightest possibility of a lack of a fair trial, we will transfer the case out of Kathua,” the top court said.
The trial should be fair not only for the accused but also for the victim's family and the protection to them and their lawyers should be ensured, the bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said.
The bench, during the hearing, also considered the issue of alleged obstruction by lawyers in administration of justice in the case and said," if the lawyers are at fault, they would be dealt in accordance with law.
On Wednesday, prime accused in the Kathua gangrape case moved the Supreme Court opposing the plea of the victims father seeking transfer of trial outside the state, preferably to Chandigarh.
Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra, who were chargesheeted by the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police in the case, have also sought transfer of the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) besides seeking to be impleaded as parties in the petition filed by the father of the victim.
The two have claimed innocence in the top court and said they were compelled to file the interlocutory application for impleadment because they were "falsely implicated and arrayed as accused persons in the case".
- With PTI inputs