The Supreme Court Monday allowed three witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case, who claimed they were tortured by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case, to approach the Jammu and Kashmir High Court with their grievances. The trio, who studied with the accused in college, sought an independent enquiry into the “torture and sufferings meted out to them”.
Appearing for the J&K government, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium and advocate Shoeb Alam told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that the three witnesses have already been re-examined and “treated as witnesses” and the police had never thought of “implicating them as accused persons”. The state also disputed that the witnesses had been tortured.
The court ordered, “we think it appropriate to grant liberty to the petitioners to move the concerned High Court for redressal of the grievances by taking recourse to appropriate remedy”. The students had alleged that they were harassed and coerced by the police and summoned to re-record their statements.
They alleged that they were “coerced to make statements contrary to the facts that the accused was with them at Muzaffarnagar from January 7 to February 10. During that period, he, along with the petitioners, attended examinations and practical papers”.
‘Accused not a minor’
Chandigarh: The prosecution in the Kathua gangrape and murder case told the Pathankot sessions court Monday that the accused claiming to be a juvenile was found to be a major after medical examination. Sources said that the medical board has given its findings after the bone ossification test of the accused and has submitted that his approximate age is between 20 and 21 years. The defence will begin arguments Tuesday.