The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to consider a plea filed by two accused in the Kathua case asking that the trial be held in the district of Kathua and the inquiry be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, PTI reported. The case pertains to the murder and alleged gangrape of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January. The victim’s father had earlier sought to transfer the case from the Kathua court to Chandigarh.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra, judges AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the plea of the two accused, Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra, that they be impleaded as parties to the father’s petition.

The court also said that its real concern was to see that a fair trial was conducted – for both the accused and the victim’s family. It asked the police to provide protection to the family and their lawyers, and warned that the trial would be shifted out of Kathua if there was the slightest doubt that it would not be fair.

On lawyers of the Kathua Bar Association who allegedly tried to obstruct the police from filing a chargesheet, the court said the advocates would face the law if they were held guilty.

On Tuesday, two accused policemen had moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking a CBI inquiry into the Kathua incident.

On Wednesday, the Kathua court had dismissed the bail plea of the juvenile accused in the case, observing that the crime prima facie appeared to be “grave and heinous, not juvenile”.