Directing Uttar Pradesh government to apprise Supreme Court on the steps taken to protect witnesses in the Hathras case, Chief Justice S A Bobde said that the rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit woman is "shocking and extraordinary".
The apex court's observation came while hearing a PIL during which the Uttar Pradesh government expressed willingness to refer the investigation to the CBI as fake narratives were being spread about the case with political motives.
Terming the incident as horrible and extraordinary, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it will ensure that investigation is smooth in the case. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, said: Narratives after narratives being spread in Hathras case, this this needs to be stopped." The CBI probe in Hathras case will ensure no vested interests will be able to create fake, false narrative with oblique motives, Mehta told the court.
The state government told the top court that probe in Hathras case may be conducted by CBI under supervision of apex court. A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.
The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30. Her family alleged they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family". The state government has already recommended a CBI probe in the matter and quoting FSL reports, it has denied the rape charge.(With inputs from PTI)