The Allahabad High Court Friday issued a stern warning to those attempting to disrupt the trial proceedings in the Hathras gang-rape case after the victim’s brother alleged that an unruly mob, including lawyers, barged into the court and intimidated the witnesses and the complainant’s counsel
The trial judge was eventually forced to adjourn the proceedings.
“If any person who is stranger to the trial as also anyone who may be involved in the trial, tries to disturb the proceedings before the Trial Court or in any manner attempts to threaten the life, liberty and property of the victim’s family and the witnesses, we would be taking severe action against such person including contempt proceedings under the Contempt of Court’s Act, 1971 read with Section 215 of the Constitution of India”, a bench of Justices Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh warned.
The bench also directed the trial court to conduct the proceedings in-camera till the next date of listing, in keeping with the letter and spirit of Section 327 Cr.P.C. “It shall adhere to this mandate strictly,” the high court said.
It also directed the District Judge, Hathras to ensure that the trial is allowed to be conducted before the court concerned in a free and fair manner without any outside hindrance.
It said after receipt of a report from the district judge, it will decide as to whether the trial of Hathras gang rape before the Special Judge, (SC/ST Act), Hathras is required to be stayed and transferred elsewhere in the same state.
The court added that whenever the trial is fixed before the trial court, the state government and the district authorities will make all possible arrangements for the security and smooth conduct of the trial within the court premises and outside it.
Advocate for the CBI informed the Court that the CBI intends to file an application for transfer of the trial from District Hathras, elsewhere, within the State.
This article was first published in The Leaflet.