The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to issue a notice to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for calling the gangrapes in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, a political conspiracy. The order came in response to Khan failing to appear before the court during a hearing in the case and not sending a lawyer to represent him either, The Times of India reported.
On August 29, the top court had issued a notice to both Khan and the Uttar Pradesh government regarding the case's transfer out of the state. The teenager, who was assaulted along with her mother in Bulandshahr on July 30, had moved the top court seeking an FIR against Khan for his comments and for the investigation to be transferred to Delhi. On September 9, the Supreme Court revised its stay order on the CBI's investigation into the case.
While hearing the girl's plea, the court had questioned whether Khan calling the rapes a political conspiracy "defeated the principles of constitutional compassion" or amounted to freedom of speech. Khan had claimed that Opposition parties in the state could have conspired to defame the government using the gangrapes. The top court said such statements by political leaders "created mistrust in investigations and the entire system".
The incident took place when the family was travelling to Shahjahanpur to attend a relative's funeral. A gang of highway robbers surrounded their car around midnight and forced all of them into a nearby field. There, they gangraped the girl and her mother. The assailants carried out the attack barely 100 metres from a police post. However, the police allegedly took hours to reach the spot.