New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took judicial cognisance of the Unnao rape case and fixed the matter for hearing on Thursday along with a report from the Secretary General of the top court.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi expressed his displeasure at the fact that a letter written by the victim's family on July 12 was not placed before him by the court registry.
"I also got to know from the media reports which now seem to suggest as if the Chief Justice was sitting on it. I had not even seen such a letter until yesterday when I asked the Secretary General," observed Justice Gogoi.
Expressing dismay, the CJI added: "We try to do something constructive in a mix of such a highly volatile destructive environment but the messaging isn't right."
The remarks came as senior advocate V Giri, who has been appointed as amicus curiae in a suo motu case registered by the apex court to devise a mechanism to speed up child rape trials, mentioned the Unnao rape case and sought the top court's intervention.
Giri said he has received some information from the NGOs and since the case herein has also attracted provisions under POCSO, the Supreme Court should look into it.
At this, the CJI said the court will hear this matter on Thursday, and directed the Secretary General to place his report in the court in terms of the administrative order issued a day ago.
The Chief Justice also clarified that the matter will be taken up on the judicial side and the registrar's report on the delay in placing the letter before the CJI will also be examined. Justice Gogoi called it "unfortunate" that the letter by the victim's family didn't reach him earlier.
In this letter dated July 12, the mother and sisters of Unnao rape survivor had said they were being intimidated by the accused and were also threatened with implication in false cases.
Citing concerns of their safety, the letter also implored upon the CJI to order an FIR into incidents of intimidation and seek report from the police officials concerned.
Notably, a transfer petition by the victim's mother is already pending before the Supreme Court, in which the chief prayer is to transfer the trial to Delhi since the accused have a lot of influence in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
While the notices to the CBI and all other accused, including Kuldeep Singh Senger, were issued on April 16, the matter is yet to be taken up again by the Supreme Court.