Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the 11 accused in a 2009 Noida gangrape case, asking why the trial should not be shifted to Delhi.
Acting on a petition filed by sole eyewitness Anand (name changed), a bench of justice Markandey Katju and justice Gyan Sudha Mishra issued the notices after senior counsel RN Mittal submitted that a fair trial was not possible in Noida. The case is of an MBA student who was abducted on January 5, 2009, from outside Great India Place in Noida and raped by 11 men. They also assaulted Anand, the victim’s friend.
The apex court has now asked the state government and the accused to file their responses within four weeks.
According to Mittal, the victim has already left India because of threats from her tormentors, who are out on bail. He said she was forced to cut short her studies, as her college was situated in the same area where she was raped. Mittal said now Anand was being threatened.
In his petition, Anand, who identified some of the alleged rapists in court on October 21 this year, said he did not want to appear any more before the trial court in Noida, because the accused threatened him outside the court after the proceedings.
“The accused asked him not to depose. Ironically, the prosecution got Anand’s further examination deferred on the ground that it had failed to produce the case property,” his counsel Arvind Gupta had earlier told HT.
According to Gupta, the witness had written to the Allahabad High Court chief justice, the trial court judge and the Noida police, informing them about the threats.
He even moved a formal application on November 11 citing reasons for his inability to appear for further examination.
Though the court ordered Noida police to provide protection to Anand, he is yet to get it. Anand said the accused were influential and lived near the trial court and therefore, the atmosphere was not conducive for a fair trial in Noida.