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LIVE: SC Seeks J&K Govt Reply on Shifting Kathua Rape and Murder Trial to Chandigarh, Orders Security for Victim's Family and Lawyers

News18.com | April 16, 2018, 3:34 PM IST
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We will keep track of major news events across the world through this live blog. Stay tuned as Puja Menon brings you the latest updates:

The big news at the moment: The Supreme Court has sought the Jammu and Kashmir government’s reply on a plea by the Kathua rape and murder victim’s family to move the trial to Chandigarh. Hearing the plea, the top court also ordered security for the victim’s family and their legal team. It also refrained from interfering with “who should probe the case.” The apex court fixed April 27 as the next date of hearing. Trial in the case began today with the eight men accused of abducting, raping and killing the eight-year-old victim, pleading not guilty and seeking narco tests.
Apr 16, 2018 3:34 pm (IST)

Kathua Rape and Murder Case: Victim's father expresses satisfaction over the probe conducted by Jammu and Kashmir's police so far and opposes plea for CBI probe as sought by others. SC asks state police to provide security at observation home where the delinquent juvenile is kept in the case and fixes plea on April 27

Apr 16, 2018 3:32 pm (IST)

Kathua Rape and Murder Case: Lawyers are protesting outside the Supreme Court. The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl today pleaded not guilty and asked the district and sessions judge for a narco test. As the trial in the case began here, the district and sessions judge asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing. 

Apr 16, 2018 3:26 pm (IST)

SC orders security to Victim's family and lawyer |  While listening to the plea filed by Kathua victim's family, the Supreme Court today said let us focus on the victim. The apex court issued notice to the Jammu and Kashmir state government and sought a reply on shifting the trial to Chandigarh. The court further ordered to provide security to the Kathua victim's family and the lawyer. The SC will hear the case next on April 27. The Court further said they will go by the principles of fair trials and victim protection.

Apr 16, 2018 2:57 pm (IST)

SC Begins to Hear Plea of Kathua Rape Victim's father | The Supreme Court begins to hear the plea filed by Victim's family to shift the case to Chandigarh. The Court is hearing two separate petitions including the one filed by Kathua-based lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, representing the family of an eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and killed, alleging that she was facing threat to her life for pursuing the matter. Another plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur, seeks transfer of the sensational gangrape case from Kathua trial court to a local court in the national capital. Kapur has also sought transfer of probe to the CBI, besides seeking exemplary compensation to the family of the victim of the case. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission advanced by senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing Rajawat and Kapur, for urgent hearing of the two petitions today itself. "We have already passed the order on Friday," the bench said. Jaising responded by saying that the earlier notice was issued to the bar associations but the issue at present relates to the threat faced by local counsel Rajawat. The bench then agreed to hear the petitions at 2 PM today itself.

Apr 16, 2018 2:47 pm (IST)

J&K Police registers case against Lawyers | Jammu Police have registered a case against eight lawyers for allegedly obstructing the filing of chargesheet in the Kathua rape and murder case. They have been charged with obstructing government servants from doing their work. The eight people accused in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case pleaded not guilty on Monday and asked the district and sessions judge for a Narco test. As the trial in the case began, the district and sessions judge asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing. 

Apr 16, 2018 2:25 pm (IST)

Ghulam Nabi Azad on Kathua rape and murder case advocate Deepika Singh's comment that she is feeling threatened. "I feel ashamed of the fact a woman advocate who is fighting such a sensitive case is threatened. She should be given police protection, whoever is threatening her is abetting the case... If the state government doesn't help then the Supreme Court should take action.

Apr 16, 2018 2:20 pm (IST)

Fast track cases of rapes of minors: Rahul Gandhi to PM  | Amid public outrage over Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fast-track cases of rapes of minors and punish the guilty if he was serious about providing justice to the country's daughters. Gandhi pointed out that there were as many as 19,675 cases of rapes of minor children in 2016, terming them as "shameful". "There were 19,675 rapes of minor children reported in 2016. This is shameful. PM should fast-track these cases and punish the guilty if he is serious about providing justice for our daughters," Gandhi said on Twitter, using the hashtag 'SpeakUp'. His remarks come days after the prime minister said that the guilty in the Kathua and Unnao incidents would not be spared and the country's daughters will get justice.

Apr 16, 2018 2:17 pm (IST)

Most of the witnesses have gone hostile. What questions were asked in the cross-examination to the witnesses has to be seen: Former Home Minister Shivraj Patil

Apr 16, 2018 2:13 pm (IST)

Witness that went hostile should be cross-examined. It is a failure of the person who has not come to the correct conclusion and has committed to the crime. Media should not draw conclusion and wait till the judgement copy is out, says former Home Minister Shivraj Patil to Zakka Jacob on CNN-News18

Apr 16, 2018 2:08 pm (IST)

‘Saffron terror’ questions should be asked to the people who used such words, but not me: Former Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Mecca Masjid Blast Case

Apr 16, 2018 2:02 pm (IST)

When asked by CNN-News18's Zakka Jacob to comment on 'Hindu Terror', former Home Minister Shivraj Patil said "I never used the word Hindu terror. Ask the person who has used it. I am not satisfied with the Mecca Masjid Blast Case verdict. Why should I apologise to anyone. Congress never mislead the nation.  I cannot give judgment on something that has not been said by the Congress party. Religion does not ask to create terror. I know there are cases in which lots of evidence are there against accused of different religions. "

Apr 16, 2018 1:57 pm (IST)

The Congress hailed the 2G verdict, why are they criticising the Court's verdict today. Why the Congress is showing double standards. Will Rahul Gandhi come out with a candle at midnight to apologise for ‘saffron terror’ remark?: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra While addressing the press on Mecca Masjid Blast Case Verdict

Apr 16, 2018 1:55 pm (IST)

The Congress party has been exposed as never before. Saffron terror a very derogatory term: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra While addressing the press on Mecca Masjid Blast Case Verdict

Apr 16, 2018 1:54 pm (IST)

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra is making a statement to the press at BJP Central Office, New Delhi on Mecca Masjid Blast Case Verdict

Apr 16, 2018 1:38 pm (IST)

Kathua accused plead not guilty, ask for narco test | The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl today pleaded not guilty and asked the district and sessions judge for a narco test. As the trial in the case began today, the district and sessions judge asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing.  Of the eight people accused of the crime, one is a juvenile who is also under arrest. He moved a bail application before a judicial magistrate which will be heard later today. The child from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death. According to the chargesheets filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.

Apr 16, 2018 1:37 pm (IST)

Mecca Masjid Blast Case | Attacking the Central Government, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said "turning the truth down is the new law of this government. People are losing faith in investigating agencies now. A special NIA court today acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007  Mecca Masjid blast case. Nine persons were killed and 58 injured in the blast. Ten persons were named as accused in the case. However, only five of them -- Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary -- who were arrested had faced trial in the case

Apr 16, 2018 1:32 pm (IST)

Reacting to the Mecca Masjid Blast Case verdict, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said all witnesses were placed before the court and now, suddenly NIA is unable to prove the case. NIA is answerable.  It is shocking to see how all the accused in the Mecca Masjid Blast case have been acquitted. It is very demeaning for the struggle against terrorism.  A special NIA court today acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007  Mecca Masjid blast case. Nine persons were killed and 58 injured in the blast. Ten persons were named as accused in the case.

Apr 16, 2018 1:25 pm (IST)

Kathua rape and murder case: SC to hear two separate pleas at 2 pm | The Supreme Court today agreed to hear at 2 PM two separate petitions including the one filed by Kathua-based lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, representing the family of an eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and killed, alleging that she was facing threat to her life for pursuing the matter. Another plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur, seeks transfer of the sensational gangrape case from Kathua trial court to a local court in the national capital. Kapur has also sought transfer of probe to the CBI, besides seeking exemplary compensation to the family of the victim of the case. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission advanced by senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing Rajawat and Kapur, for urgent hearing of the two petitions today itself. "We have already passed the order on Friday," the bench said. Jaising responded by saying that the earlier notice was issued to the bar associations but the issue at present relates to the threat faced by local counsel Rajawat. The bench then agreed to hear the petitions at 2 PM today itself.

Apr 16, 2018 1:14 pm (IST)

Let Govt Take a Call: Ashok Gehlot on Hyderabad Mecca Masjid Blast Case Verdict | Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said it is now up to the government to examine order and decide if a further appeal is required. As it is a judicial matter, I wouldn't like to comment on it. A special NIA court today acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007  Mecca Masjid blast case. Nine persons were killed and 58 injured in the blast.

Apr 16, 2018 1:00 pm (IST)

Mecca Masjid Blast Verdict Case: BJP wants Congress to apologise | BJP leaders demand an apology from the Congress for coining 'Hindu Terror'. Speaking to CNN-News18, former Home Minister, Shivraj Patil refused to apologise. He further said that he never used the word Hindu terror. "I never used the word Hindu terror," Patil said

Apr 16, 2018 12:45 pm (IST)

NIA will Act After Examining Court's Judgment | Replying to the Namapally Court's verdict in which all the five accused are acquitted in the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid Blast Case the NIA said they will examine the court judgment after they have their hands on a copy of the same and then decide further course of action.

Apr 16, 2018 12:39 pm (IST)

Owasis Alleges Laxity by NIA in Mecca Masjid Blast Case | Asaduddin Owaisi said that the majority of witness turned hostile after June 2014. NIA didn’t pursue the case as it was expected from them. The NIA is guided by the political masters. NIA is a deaf & blind parrot. They didn’t appeal against the bail given to accused. Witnesses were turned hostile after June 2014. Our fight against terrorism is weakened after today’s acquittal.

Apr 16, 2018 12:33 pm (IST)

Mecca Masjid Blast Case: I had expected this verdict, says RVS Mani | I had expected it. All the pieces of evidence were engineered, otherwise, there was no Hindu terror angle, says RVS Mani, former Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on all accused in Mecca Masjid blast case acquitted

Apr 16, 2018 12:29 pm (IST)

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy speaks to CNN-News18 reacting to the NIA Court's verdict on Hyderabad Mecca Masjid Blast Case

Apr 16, 2018 12:16 pm (IST)

Accused Acquitted Due to Lack of Evidence |  Aseemanand's lawyer Rajwardan said as the prosecution failed to prove the case, that's, why all the key accused, have been acquitted by the  Namapally Court in the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid Blasts Case

Apr 16, 2018 12:08 pm (IST)

2007 Mecca Masjid blasts case: All five key accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, including Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary  are acquitted. 11 years after the powerful explosion killed nine people and injured more than 50 during Friday prayers near Hyderabad’s iconic Charminar. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police in and around the court premises for the big verdict.

Apr 16, 2018 12:02 pm (IST)

NIA Court Verdict Shortly | The NIA court's verdict in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts case will be out shortly. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police in and around the court premises for the big verdict. The explosion had ripped through the mosque on May 18, 2007. Two live IEDs were also recovered by police and defused. Later, five more people were killed in subsequent police firing on the crowd outside the mosque. Eight people, including Hindu right-wing members Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary and others were charged by the NIA in the blast case. The court, however, would deliver its verdict for only five accused.

Apr 16, 2018 11:58 am (IST)

Mecca Masjid Blast Case: In its chargesheet, the NIA had said that the accused were “angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples” and conspired to “avenge” such acts with attacks on Muslim places of worship and places densely populated by Muslims. The blasts were allegedly carried out with a ‘bomb ka jawab bomb’ (bomb for a bomb) mindset. The chargesheet also mentions that Aseemanand reportedly made a confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari Court in Delhi. He had allegedly disclosed the conspiracy behind the bomb blasts in different places, including Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. Aseemanand allegedly retracted the statement later. Aseemanand was first arrested by CBI in 2010 but was granted conditional bail in 2017 in the case. He was earlier acquitted in Ajmer Dargah blast case, and has also got bail in Samjhauta Express blast case of 2014.

Apr 16, 2018 11:57 am (IST)

SC dismisses PIL against pension, benefits to former MPs  | The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL challenging the perks, including pension and travel allowances, given to former Parliamentarians. A bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, "The petition is dismissed".  The bench had reserved its verdict on March 7 this year. The Centre had on March 7 told the apex court that the entitlement of former Members of Parliament (MPs) to get pension and other benefits was "justified" as their dignity has to be maintained even after they complete their tenure as parliamentarians. The Centre had told the bench about the Finance Bill 2018 which contains provisions regarding salary and pension of MPs and also about revision of their allowances after every five years starting from April 1, 2023, on the basis of cost inflation index. The apex court had in February directed the Centre to clarify its stand on setting up of an independent mechanism for determination of salaries and allowances of MPs after the government had said the issue was "under consideration".

Apr 16, 2018 11:53 am (IST)

2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case: All key accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case arrives at the NIA court. 11 years after the powerful explosion killed nine people and injured more than 50 during Friday prayers near Hyderabad’s iconic Charminar. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the police in and around the court premises for the big verdict. Eight people, including Hindu right-wing members Aseemanand, Devender Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharatbhai, Rajender Chowdhary and others were charged by the NIA in the blast case. The court, however, would deliver its verdict for only five accused.

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