The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated its inclination to ask the Allahabad High Court to supervise the CBI investigation into the brutal assault, alleged rape and subsequent death of a 19-year-old Dalit girl by four upper caste men at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde orally told the petitioners and intervenors who wanted the apex court to directly monitor the probe that “we are sending all of you to Allahabad High Court”. The Bench then reserved the case for orders.
“We are here as appellate, ultimate supervisory body, but let the Allahabad HC do it… We are always here”, Chief Justice Bobde orally remarked during the hearing.
The State government and the Director General of Police (DGP) left it to the wisdom of the court to decide which court should supervise the probe, saying their only purpose is to see justice in the case.
Probe on: SG
“Do not be concerned… State government has raised no objections. There should not be any shadow of doubt. The CBI took over the case on October 10 and the investigation is on”, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the government, submitted.
Mr. Mehta only objected to a plea that the charge sheet in the case should be filed in Delhi. He said the final report ought to be filed in the jurisdictional court as per the law.
The DGP, to a plea that CRPF personnel and not the State police should form the security net around the victim’s family and witnesses, left it to the court to decide “whoever best protects the family”.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, for the DGP, submitted, “We have not objected to anything”.
Chief Justice Bobde responded, “We are not saying the State is partisan…”.
The government had filed an affidavit, saying it was “committed” to providing “complete security” to the family and witnesses. It detailed the security for the family members. There would be “no intrusion in the privacy of the victim’s family/witnesses and that they are free to move and meet the people they want”, it said.
The affidavit came in response to a petition filed by Satyama Dubey, represented by advocates Sanjeev Malhotra and Pradeep Kumar Yadav, seeking a fair probe into the crime.
The government’s action of an ‘hasty’ midnight cremation of the victim in the absence of her family members caused an uproar.