The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday transferred the trial of a gang rape case in which an MBA student was allegedly abducted outside the Great India Place Mall in Noida and raped by 11 men three years ago.
Acting on a petition filed by the sole eyewitness, Anand, a bench of Justices TS Thakur and Gyan Sudha Misra ordered that the case would be taken up by a district judge of Tis Hazari Courts on February 28.
The bench said that the judge could either hold the trial or earmark an additional and sessions judge to hear the case.
Accepting the contention raised by Anand’s counsel Arvind Gupta, the bench observed that it was incorrect to suggest that the petition was an attempt to delay the trial in Noida.
The bench rejected the submissions made by one of the accused’s advocate that Anand’s father was a Delhi Police inspector and could, therefore, threaten his clients.
The Supreme Court had on December 6, 2010, issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the 11 accused on Anand’s petition, claiming that a fair trial was not possible in Noida.
Anand moved his petition after he was threatened by the alleged rapists following his testimony against them in the trial court. Anand had identified some of the accused in court. According to the prosecution’s case, the victim was kidnapped in his presence. Gupta told the apex court that the victim had already left due to threats from her tormentors, who are out on bail. He said that she was forced to discontinue her studies as her college was located in the same area where she was raped.
According to the counsel, the witness had written to the Allahabad High Court’s chief justice, trial court judge and Noida police, informing them about the threats.He had even moved a formal application, citing reasons for his inability to appear for further examination. Though the court had ordered the Noida police to provide protection to Anand, he wasn’t given any.