A three-justice bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, will take up on Tuesday a plea seeking a probe by the CBI or a special investigation team into the alleged gang-rape and murder of a young dalit woman in Hathras district. The bench also comprises Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian.
The petition, filed by social activist Satyama Dubey and lawyers Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav Singh, has alleged Uttar Pradesh authorities had failed to deal with the Hathras case effectively.
The Hathras victim was allegedly gang-raped by four men on September 14 and succumbed to her injuries on September 29, triggering nationwide protests.
“Police personnel after getting the dead body of deceased cremated the same without the consent of the family members of the deceased. Police authorities have not performed their duties towards the victim and (are) trying to shield the accused persons. Grave injustice had been done to the victim and the system is silent on the issue,” sources said.
The plea sought the case be transferred out of Uttar Pradesh.
“The case may be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation or an SIT be formed to investigate the matter under a sitting or retired Supreme Court or High Court Judge, (and) trial of the matter may be transferred from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi,” the petitioners sought.
Meanwhile, an upper caste organisation defending the four men accused in the Hathras case has reached out to A.P. Singh, the lawyer who defended the five men convicted in the Nirbhaya gang-rape-and-murder case. The Nirbhaya case convicts were hanged in March this year, nearly eight years after they gang-raped a young physiotherapy student in Delhi, which eventually resulted in her death.
The Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha issued a statement saying the Hathras case was being “misused” to malign the Rajput community.
The letter stated A.P. Singh would plead for the four men accused in the case. A.P. Singh had drawn much flak in the years he pursued the Nirbhaya case for making provocative utterances.