Kathua rape-murder: Three witnesses move J&K high court against SIT
Three witnesses in the infamous Kathua rape and murder case on Tuesday moved Jammu and Kashmir high court against the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the crime branch alleging torture and harassment for manufacturing false evidence against the accused.
“The high court has sought reply from the home secretary and all individual members of the SIT on their alleged torture and harassment for manufacturing of false evidence against the accused Vishal Jangotra. The high court has afforded the respondents three weeks’ time,” said advocate Ankur Sharma.
Ankur said that the petition has been moved by classmates of the accused Sahil Sharma, Sachin Sharma and Neeraj Sharma before the court of justice Dheeraj Singh Thakur, where he argued on behalf of the witnesses.
“The interim prayer of petitioners for the appointment of a judicial magistrate to enquire the matter and submit the fact finding report to high court will be decided on August 29, when the matter will be listed before the high court again,” he said.
He further said that if charges against the crime branch officials were proved, they stand to suffer a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The witnesses had already deposed before a judicial magistrate about the alleged misdoings of the SIT by recording their statements under Section 164-A of the Criminal Procedure Code of India (CrPC).
On July 2, the Supreme Court had asked the three witnesses to approach the state high court with their grievances of alleged harassment and torture by the SIT. The trio, classmates of Vishal Jangotra, had also sought an independent probe. They had approached the apex court with a petition seeking independent probe.
Then apex court had given them the liberty to approach the state high court.
An eight-year-old nomadic girl was allegedly gangraped and murdered in Rasana village of Kathua district and her body was found on January 10.