In a major decision, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed till May 7 the trial in the case of the rape and murder of a minor in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said it would deal with the prayer of the victim’s father for shifting the trial to Chandigarh and the plea of the accused seeking the handing over the probe to the CBI.
It need be mentioned that the child from a minority nomadic community disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu region on January 10.
Subsequently, her body was found in the same area a week later.
It was said that the trial could be shifted from Kathua to some other district in the State as there were 221 witnesses and most of the statements recorded so far were in Urdu.
The fact also found mention that Jammu and Kashmir had its own penal law and if the trial was shifted to Chandigarh then it may create several problems.
The apex court on Thursday said it would transfer the case from the local court in the “slightest possibility” of lack of fair trial.
The Crime Branch filed the main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua last week.