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'If trial in Kathua rape case is unfair, will transfer it out of Jammu', says SC

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The Supreme Court has said that it would hear the petition of the two prime accused in the Kathua rape case who are opposing a plea filed by the victim's father seeking transfer of the case outside Jammu. The court said that its real concern was to ensure a fair trial and said that the case would be transferred if it found the slightest possibility that the trial was not being conducted in a fair manner.

    If trial in Kathua rape case is unfair, will transfer it out of Jammu says SC

    The trial ought to be fair not only for the accused but for the victim's family and protection needs to be ensured to them and their lawyers. The bench said if the lawyers who are accused of obstructing the trial are at fault then it would deal with the matter in accordance with the law.

    Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra, who were chargesheeted by the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police in the case, have sought transfer of the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) besides seeking to be impleaded as parties in the petition filed by the father of the victim.

    The duo had moved the top court on Wednesday, saying they had been falsely implicated. "It is humbly stated that the applicants are necessary and proper parties as their rights and interest are bound to be affected by the outcome of the writ petition," they said in their plea. The accused added that Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees fair investigation as well as the trial to the accused.

    "Therefore, the 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 said.

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