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Supreme Court: The Court has asked CBI to investigate within 7 days the mysterious case of the accident in which the Unnao rape survivor was seriously injured along with her lawyer while her two aunts were killed in Rae Bareli on Sunday. The investigation is to be conducted by Secretary General under supervision of sitting SC judge nominated by CJI, to ascertain whether there was any lapse/negligence by registry officials in delay in processing letter of Unnao rape victim’s mother to CJI.

Ranjan Gogoi, CJ gave the direction to the agency after dismissing Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta’s plea for a month’s time for completing the probe. CJI said,

 “A month? Probe should be completed within 7 days in the accident case, however, as an exception, CBI can take another week, but in no circumstance shall the probe extend beyond a fortnight.

The Court has transferred the trial of all the cases related to Unnao rape incident from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi and the designated judge in Delhi will commence the trial on day-to-day basis and complete the trial within 45 days.

As an interim measure, the Court has directed the UP government to pay Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the victim and also directed that security & protection be granted to the victim, her lawyer, mother of the victim, the four siblings of the victim, her uncle, and immediate family members in the village in Unnao.

Earlier in the day, the CJI ordered the CBI to present the status of the investigations after the agency was given charge of the probe into the accident and the FIR that included murder charges against rape accused and BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar.
When the SG said the Investigating Officer was out of station and sought time till tomorrow morning for the agency to submit a report, the CJI dismissed it asking CBI to depute some ‘responsible’ official who can gather the information over phone and present it to the court. CBI Joint Director Sampat Meena, a woman officer, appeared before the bench and gave the status of the probe into the two cases.

On July 28, a truck rammed into the vehicle in which the Unnao rape survivor, her counsel and two aunts were travelling to Raebareli. While she and her lawyer sustained grievous injuries, her aunts were killed on the spot. The Unnao rape
survivor and her lawyer, who is being treated at King George’s Medical University are stable, the hospital said on Wednesday.

The Uttar Pradesh Police filed a case of murder against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and nine others in connection with the accident. Meanwhile, the BJP has expelled MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar amidst the controversy.

(Source: ANI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the matter relating to Gorkhaland agitation, the bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan refused to transfer of investigation of all First Information Reports lodged against Bimal Gurung, the President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other members of GJM, to any independent investigation agency. The Court said:

“The offences alleged in the cases are serious offences including offences under Section 121, 121A, 153A and offences under Unlawful Act, 1967 as well as offences under Section 307, 302 IPC etc. Transfer of investigation of such large number of cases enmass is neither practicable nor justified.”

The Court noticed that the present case is a case where the petitioner as Leader of GJM is a spare heading an agitation against the State demanding a separate State-hood. F.I.R. registered at the instance of police leading serious offences involving petitioner and supporters of GJM, cannot be discarded on the plea that it was police, who has roped in the petitioner and other supporters by lodging the F.I.R. No bias or mala fide has been pleaded against any individual State functionary or police officer nor any such person has been impleaded in the writ petition so as to consider the allegation of bias. In the present case, neither there is any pleading nor any material to come to a conclusion that State functionaries including police functionaries are biased against the petitioner.

The bench said:

“The State is obliged to maintain law and order and to protect live and property of the citizens. It has to take necessary steps to contain such agitation and restore the peace.”

On the allegation that the State Police had destructed the property itself, the Court said that it cannot be imagined that State Police of West Bengal itself has destructed the property including Police vehicles only for the purpose of foisting cases against the petitioner and its supporters. Deaths of several persons which included Police personnel is admitted to by both the parties.

It was, hence, held that although as a principle, there is no fetter on an accused to move a Court of Law for transfer of investigation, but the present case cannot be said to be a case of individual’s persecution by the State authority.

Background of the Case:

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act, 2011 was enacted to provide for the establishment of a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration for the region comprising the three sub-divisions, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and some mouzas of Siliguri subdivision in the district of Darjeeling and for certain matters incidental thereto. The agitation in question that arose after the Minister of Education, Government of West Bengal in a press conference stated that Bengali would be compulsory in all schools in West Bengal. The Gorkhas viewed this as an encroachment on their language, i.e. Nepali/Gorkhali. [Bimal Gurung v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 233, decided on 16.03.2018]