Hathras gang-rape case: Petition filed in Supreme Court
A group of women and queer persons from marginalised communities moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking to be a part of the top court’s proceedings in the Hathras gang rape and murder case and asking the top court to issue directions to secure the right of the 19-year-old victim’s family.
The petitions – filed by 11 members of Dalit, Bahujan, Adivasi and Vimukta (denotified tribes) communities --- requested the top court to issue directions to transfer all cases in the matter from Uttar Pradesh to a special court in Delhi to ensure fair trial, set up an SC-monitored special investigation team, restrain the authorities from conducting polygraph tests on the victim’s family and relatives, secure their rights and strictly implement the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act)
The petition may be heard on Thursday.
“The applicants herein are women, and queer persons who are activists, academics and journalists belonging to Dalit- Bahujan Adivasi- Vimukta (DBAV) communities. They collectively possess field experience and analytical data which and above all personal struggles that provide insights into caste- based atrocities faced by Dalits especially the Dalit women and limitations to speedy and fair access to the criminal justice system to Dalit girls and women in India,” read the petition.
Last week, a three-judge bench of the apex court heard a public interest litigation seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and observed that the gang rape and murder in Hathras district was a horrible and extraordinary incident.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, directed the state government to place on record the steps taken to ensure protection of witnesses. The top court also asked the state to ascertain whether the family engaged a lawyer and sought details of the scope of proceedings relating to the incident before the Allahabad high court.