The Supreme Court on Friday turned down pleas seeking fresh probe into the Kathua gangrape and murder case and transfer of the probe to an independent agency like the CBI, saying it “found no reason to interfere”. “According to us, this matter does not require de-novo investigation. Whatever are the infirmities, you can try to take advantage of them in the trial,” a bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud said.
One of the accused had approached the court seeking “de-novo investigation”, alleging that the probe by state police Crime Branch was “motivated”, while another had prayed that the probe be transferred to an independent agency. The counsel for two accused, Vishal Jangotra and his father Sanji Ram, told the bench that there were “two versions” in the chargesheet against them. “The petitioners here are father and son. It is improbable that a father will call his son from Meerut, where he (son) is giving his examination, to commit such a crime,” the counsel said.
Counsel for the other petitioner contended that two officers of the SIT, which probed the case, were facing charges of custodial murder and corruption. He asserted that a “motivated investigation” was conducted. When he referred to statements by some witnesses, the bench observed, “We are alive to that but that is not a matter which entitles you to seek fresh investigation.”
The court sought to know how many witnesses had so far been examined by the trial court. The counsel said 80 prosecution witnesses were examined, following which the bench said it did not find any reason to interfere.