The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea by two of the accused in the Kathua gang rape and murder case seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. The court also rejected a separate plea filed by another accused seeking fresh investigation.

While declining both the pleas, a bench of Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud said that the accused could raise this issue before the lower court during the ongoing trial.

The accused had claimed in their plea that the probe in the case was allegedly motivated and that they were “falsely implicated and arrayed as accused persons in the case”.

In their plea, the accused had said that Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees fair investigation as well as trial to the accused and it is absolutely necessary for preservation of fundamental rights.

“Therefore, investigation must be fair, transparent and judicious as it is the minimum requirement of rule of law. The investigating agency cannot be permitted to conduct an investigation in a tainted and biased manner,” the plea had said.

On 10 January, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community went missing from near her home in a village close to Kathua in Jammu region. Her body was found in the same area a week later.

The state police’s crime branch, which probed the case, filed the main charge sheet against seven people and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile revealing chilling details about how the minor girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged and raped inside a place of worship before being killed.

(With inputs from agencies.)