Bulandsahar Gangrape: SC Lifts Stay On CBI Probe
In a new twist in the Bulandshahr rape case, the Supreme Court today lifted the stay on CBI investigation after modifying its August 29 order and asked the agency to “proceed as per law”.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan also stayed the proceedings before the Allahabad High Court saying this was because the apex court was now dealing with the entire controversy.
It allowed the plea of CBI to be impleaded in the matter as a party to the petition filed by the husband and father of the rape survivors -- a mother-daughter duo.
Earlier this week, CBI had moved the apex court seeking modification of an order staying its ongoing probe in the sensational Bulandsahar gangrape case, saying it may cause disappearance of material evidences besides enabling six accused to seek statutory bail.
On August 29 the court prima-facie expressed disapproval of the alleged comments made by Uttar Pradesh minister and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan that the minor girl and her mother were victims was a “political conspiracy” to malign his party-led government in the state.
Acting on a petition filed by the minor victim seeking criminal prosecution of Khan for the comments and transfer of the trial of the case outside the state, a bench of justice Dipak Misra and justice C Nagappan framed four questions including “Whether the statements do come within the ambit and sweep of freedom of speech and expression or exceed the boundary that is not permissible”.
The court which has stayed the investigation in the case and issued notice to the state and Khan to be returnable within three weeks also appointed senior lawyer, legendary Fali S Nariman as amicus curiae to assist the court on four significant questions to be decided.
- When a victim files an F.I.R. alleging rape, gang rape or murder or such other heinous offences against another person or group of persons, whether any individual holding a public office or a person in authority or in-charge of governance, should be allowed to comment on the crime stating that “it is an outcome of political controversy”, more so, when as an individual, he has nothing to do with the offences in question?
- Should the “State”, the protector of citizens and responsible for law and order situation, allow these comments as they have the effect potentiality to create a distrust in the mind of the victim as regards the fair investigation and, in a way, the entire system?
- Whether the statements do come within the ambit and sweep of freedom of speech and expression or exceed the boundary that is not permissible?
- Whether such comments (which are not meant for self protection) defeat the concept of constitutional compassion and also conception of constitutional sensitivity?
“The question is of CBI probe. We are staying it. We will also examine need for transferring trial outside UP. Question is of witnesses”, the bench had said adding “the father of the victim girl, has been disillusioned about the process of fair investigation in the State of Uttar Pradesh because of various developments and more so, with regard to the public addresses made by the respondent No.2 (khan) herein, have taken place and, therefore, the case needs to be transferred to another State.