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Kathua rape case not to be shifted out of J&K: SC demands fair trial

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to consider the plea of the two accused in Kathua gangrape and murder case that the trial should not be transferred out of Jammu.

Considering the complexity of the case, the apex court said its “real concern” was to see that a fair trial is conducted in the Kathua gangrape and murder case.

“If we find the slightest possibility of lack of fair trial, we will transfer the case out of Kathua,” the Supreme Court said.

Two of the accused in the Kathua rape incident had strongly opposed in the Supreme Court, the plea for transfer of the trial from Kathua court to a court in Chandigarh.

The father of the eight-year-old victim had sought to shift the case to ensure free and fair trial.

Opposing shifting of the trial outside Kathua court, two accused Sanji Ram and Vishal Jagotra said they have been falsely implicated in the case as accused 1 and 5 pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Kathua.

The applicants are directly affected if the trial is shifted outside Kathua without making them parties to the writ petition filed by the victim’s father.

The victim went missing while grazing horses in Rasana village of Hiranagar tehsil of J&K’s Kathua district on January 10.

A week later, her body was found in the woods near her village. The DNA and police investigations have revealed that she was held inside a local temple where she was drugged, raped and killed.

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