Custodial death in Kotkhai rape case: SC transfers case from Shimla to Chandigarh’

| | New Delhi
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Custodial death in Kotkhai rape case: SC transfers case from Shimla to Chandigarh’

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 | PNS | New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred a case related to alleged custodial death of an accused in gang-rape and murder of a minor school girl in Himachal Pradesh’s Kotkhai in 2017, from Shimla to Chandigarh.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi transferred the case to Chandigarh after the CBI and the accused said they have no objection if the case was transferred from Shimla.

“We order transfer of the case to a competent CBI court in Chandigarh,” the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said.

The counsel appearing for the CBI informed the bench that charge sheet has been filed in the case against several police officials ranging from constable to former Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The apex court had last month granted bail to former Himachal Pradesh IGP Zahur Haider Zaidi, an accused in the  case, and said that it would later deal with the aspect of transferring the trial from a court in Himachal Pradesh.

The top court had in November last year sought responses from Zaidi, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Theog) Manoj Joshi and six other Himachal Pradesh policemen as to why the trial against them be not transferred from Shimla.

The CBI had earlier told the court that though the charge sheet has been filed, the trial in the case “has not seen the light of the day” and hence the matter be transferred to other court for expeditious disposal.

Zaidi and seven others were arrested in the custodial death case of Suraj, who was found dead at the Kotkhai police station on July 18, 2017.

A 16-year-old girl had gone missing in Kotkhai on July 4, 2017 and her body was found from the Halaila forests two days later on July 6.

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