The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred the case of the alleged custodial death of a rape-and-murder accused in Kotkhai town of Himachal Pradesh from Shimla to Chandigarh, PTI reported.
“We order transfer of the case to a competent CBI court in Chandigarh,” said a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna after the Central Bureau of Investigation and the accused said they have no objection.
The investigating agency’s counsel told the court that the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the case against several police officials. The CBI had sought a transfer of the case as the trial “has not seen the light of the day” though the chargesheet was filed.
In July 2017, six men had allegedly raped and murdered a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Kothkai in Shimla district. The Class 10 student was reported missing on July 4, 2017, and her body was found two days later. The state police had arrested four Nepalese men and two men from Uttarakhand 10 days after the crime. Suraj Singh, one of the Nepalese suspects, was found dead in custody at the Kotkhai Police Station on July 18, 2017.
In December, the CBI cleared one of the six accused of killing his accomplice, Singh, in jail. Instead, the agency told the court that Suraj Singh died after severe torture by the police. The CBI said it filed a chargesheet in November 2017 against eight policemen, including inspector general of police Zahur Zaidi, whom it had arrested in August 2017. Zaidi was granted bail in April.
The CBI took over the case on July 21, 2017. On January 10, 2018, it filed an affidavit and a status report on the case, in which it accused the state government of not cooperating in the investigation. The agency had then charged nine suspects in the case.