The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Jammu and Kashmir government to file a status report by Thursday in the Kathua murder case after the state sought time, alleging that three friends of a juvenile accused may have misled the investigation, reported PTI.

An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped and was murdered in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January. The chargesheet in the case had said that the girl had been kidnapped, drugged, gangraped and then murdered.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud was hearing a fresh plea of the three friends, who are also witnesses in the case, that they were tortured and threatened by the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police during the inquiry. Earlier today, the top court had refused the petitioners’ plea for protection by a central agency.

The Supreme Court bench also dismissed the petitioners’ plea for video recording of their further questioning in the case. “We have never allowed video recording of any such process in the past,” it said. The bench said that another plea seeking that lawyers be present at the time of questioning may be considered.

Advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir government, opposed the plea that lawyers be permitted during questioning, claiming that it would “affect and defeat the entire examination”. He said that further examination of the witnesses was required as they may have misled the investigation.