SC Bench Agrees To Hear Petition Of Kathua Rape And Murder Case

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New Delhi: A bench comprising Chief Justice DipakMisra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud agreed to hear the plea of three college friends who are key accused in Kathuagangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl. They moved their petition in the Supreme Court alleging torture by the Jammu and Kashmir police and seeking protection from a central agency.

Lawyer Ravi Sharma, representing students Sahil Sharma, Sachin Sharma and Neeraj Sharma, sought urgent hearing on the plea alleging that they and their families were being coerced by the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police. The Jammu-based students, who are pursuing B.Sc in Agriculture at a college in Muzzafar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, are classmates of Vishal Jangotra, a key accused in the case, the plea said.

The lawyer said the students were "coerced to make statements contrary to the facts that Vishal Jangotra was with them at Muzzafarnagar from January 7 to February 10. During that period, he along with petitioners attended examinations and practical papers."

"Petitioners were subjected to the physical and mental torture from March 19 to March 31 by Respondents (state police officers)," the plea said. The lawyer alleged that the students were constrained to move the apex court seeking security as they faced "imminent threat to their lives at the hand of the Crime Branch." Besides seeking security by a central agency, the students alleged that despite recording their statements, they were being served with police notice to re-appear for re-recording of their statements.

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