The Supreme Court Thursday allowed three witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case to be accompanied by their relatives if they are called for further examination by the J&K police.
“A relative of each of the witnesses shall be allowed to accompany him, but the said relative shall not enter the investigation room. They shall remain at a reasonably visible distance,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said. The bench clarified that from its order, it should not “remotely be inferred that there is any kind of harassment by the investigating agency”.
The court was hearing a plea by the trio alleging that the police had “coerced them to make statement” against the juvenile accused. The juvenile was their classmate in college.
The bench did not grant their request that their examination be videographed. The bench said, “We hope and trust the state shall carry investigation in a fair manner…”
Senior advocate P S Patwalia and lawyer Shoeb Alam, appearing for J&K, submitted a status report and said that the witnesses were required to be further examined, as it had appeared that they may have misled the probe.