The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will hear later in the day a plea by the father of Kathua rape and murder case seeking transfer of trial to Chandigarh from Jammu.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the hearing of the matter to 2 p.m.
Dipika Singh Rajawat, lawyer of victim’s father, sought the transfer of trial from Kathua to Chandigarh, as she said she has been facing threats.
The trial in the gruesome case will begin on Monday against eight accused men who allegedly held an eight-year-old girl in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she allegedly was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.
The chief judicial magistrate of Kathua will be committing one of the charge sheets, in which seven people have been named, to the sessions court for trial as mandated under the law. The chief judicial magistrate will, however, hold the trial for the juvenile as it is the designated court under the juvenile act, according to officials.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive case, a move being seen as made to ensure “neutrality” in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case.
According to the charge sheet filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the Bakerwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.
It lists the caretaker of the small temple, in a village in Kathua as the main conspirator behind the crime.
Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma”.
The charge sheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
All eight are under arrest.
(With agencies inputs)