The Supreme Court on Monday took note of a plea by the Bulandshahr gangrape victim’s father that the probe and trial be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh. The top court has issued a notice to the state government and minister Azam Khan in the matter.
The father’s plea sought registration of an FIR against Khan for saying that the incident was a “political conspiracy”. A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan took note of the alleged controversial statement of the state’s urban development minister
The bench appointed jurist and senior lawyer FS Nariman as amicus curiae in the matter that will now be taken up after three weeks.
The court framed several constitutional questions including whether a person, holding public office, can give a statement which may create “distrust” in the minds of the victims about a fair probe in the case and whether such a statement can be a part of freedom of speech and expression.
The man, whose wife and daughter were gangraped last month on a highway in Bulandshahr, had on August 13 moved the apex court seeking transfer of the case to Delhi, besides lodging an FIR against Khan as well as several policemen.
The gangrape took place on the night of July 29 when a group of highway robbers stopped the car of the Noida-based family and sexually assaulted the woman and her daughter after dragging them out of the vehicle that had four other occupants.
The Allahabad high court had ordered a CBI probe into the incident besides deciding to monitor the investigation.
In the plea filed in the apex court through lawyer Kislay Pandey, the victim’s father sought an order for transferring the trial of the case to Delhi “in the interest of justice”.
Unhappy with the Uttar Pradesh police, the petitioner said the probe should be conducted by “some other competent agency”.
Referring to Khan’s alleged controversial remark, the plea said an FIR be registered against him as his statement “substantially outrages” the “modesty” of the victims and their family.
The plea sought “appropriate damages” for the victims besides a direction that the state and others, including the DGP, be stopped from infringing on the fundamental right to life of the victims. “Direct the respondents (state home secretary, Khan, DGP and SSP of Bulandshahr) to pay the appropriate damages to the petitioner as per law,” the plea said.