SC directs UP govt to file affidavit on witness protection in Hathras gang rape case
New Delhi/IBNS/UNI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the gang rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras was a horrible and extraordinary incident and sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on witness protection in the incident, media reports said.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde asked the UP government if the witnesses in the case are being given adequate protection, and directed it to file an affidavit elaborating the witness protection plan in the case.
The court was hearing a petition filed by social activist Satyam Dubey and two lawyers, Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav, seeking a probe by Central Investigation Bureau (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case.
“We want to know from you whether the witness protection plan is in place. File an affidavit,” CJI Bobde told solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who was representing the state government, a Hindustan Times report said.
The bench said it would ensure that the investigation in the case is smooth and also asked the UP government to ascertain if the family of the victim has engaged a lawyer.
The solicitor general told the top court that the state government was not opposing the plea for a CBI probe but requested that it should be done under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday lso requested the Supreme Court to direct a CBI probe into the alleged gang-rape and death of a Dalit woman in Hathras, a UNI report said.
The Uttar Pradesh Government, in an affidavit, said that it will ensure that no vested interest is able to create a fake and false narrative with "oblique motives".
In the affidavit filed in response to a PIL, listed for hearing today before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, the state government said it is important that the investigation is carried out by an independent central agency.
It urged the apex court to direct a CBI probe into the case and explain in detail its investigation so far while claiming that "vested interests" are attempting to ascribe motive to derail a fair probe.
The state government also told the top court the case is being sensationalised by media outlets and political parties.
“We are not treating this as an adversarial litigation. There are different narratives in the public domain. One innocent life has been lost. It should not be sensationalised,” Mehta said, reported HT.