The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred all proceedings related to the Hathras incident before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court which is already looking into the matter. The three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde decided that all aspects pertaining to the alleged gang-rape and murder of the 18-year-old Dalit girl from Hathras will be considered by the high court.
Refusing to comment on the merits of the case, the top court further decided that the Central Bureau of Investigation—which is probing the case—will henceforth submit all its status reports to the High Court. The plea seeking a transfer of the trial out of state would be considered once the probe in the matter is complete, the apex court added.
Without casting any aspersions on the state police and in order to "allay all apprehensions", the top court "only as a confidence building measure", ruled that "security to the victim's family and the witnesses shall be provided by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) within a week from today."
The top court's verdict came on a batch of pleas that sought an independent probe in the incident which has shocked the nation.
On September 30, the Hathras district administration cremated the victim's body in the pre-dawn hours citing disturbances in the law and order situation. The DM's decision drew scathing indictments from all sections of the society including the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC which took suo motu cognizance of the matter days later.
Committed to protecting victim's family: UP to SC
Before the last hearing, on October 14, the Uttar Pradesh government had filed a compliance report stating that it was committed to providing security to the victim's family. The State had also sought a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident.
On a plea seeking protection for the victim's family, the state submitted that close to 61 security personnel including officials from the fire department plus a quick response team (QRT) had been deployed on a rotational basis to offer round the clock security. Eight CCTVs and 10-12 lights have also been installed for 24hr surveillance; the state had said.