Satyama Dubey vs Union Of India on 27 October, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Satyama Dubey vs Union Of India on 27 October, 2020

Author: Hon’Ble The Justice

Bench: Hon’Ble The Justice, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian

                                                                                   1

                                                                   REPORTABLE


                                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                   CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                              WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 296 OF 2020



                         Satyama Dubey & Ors.                       .… Petitioner(s)


                                                   Versus


                         Union of India & Ors.                      …. Respondent(s)


                                                      WITH


                                         Writ Petition (Crl) No.304/2020,
                                         Writ Petition (Crl) No.308/2020,
                                         Writ Petition (Crl) No.314/2020,
                                                       AND
                                          Writ Petition (Crl) No.316/2020




                                                  JUDGMENT

Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by

1. The petitioners and all the intervening applicants in
GULSHAN KUMAR
ARORA
Date: 2020.10.27
15:59:21 IST
Reason:

these matters have raised concern with regard to the

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
2

manner in which a 19 years old girl hailing from Hathras,

Uttar Pradesh is alleged to have been raped, brutally

assaulted; due to which she lost her life and also the

manner in which she was cremated. The Writ Petition (Crl)

No.296/2020 was initially taken on board by this Court and

notice was ordered to the respondents returnable in a week.

In the meanwhile, the remaining petitions and the

applications were filed in respect of the same incident to

seek for varied reliefs which are all ultimately in pursuit of a

fair investigation and bring to justice the culprits.

2. The details of the other applications and writ petitions

are as follows:

Petition/Intervenin Applicant/Petitioner Prayers
g Applications
Cr. M.P. No. 10597 Ramu alias Ram Kumar Intervention Application
of 2020 seeking indulgence of Court
for ordering CBI investigation
or formation of SIT to
investigate the matter under a
sitting or retired Justice of SC
or HC. Further, transfer of trial
to Delhi is prayed for.

I.A. No. 101799 of All India Women Prayer for impleadment as
2020 Conference (NGO) necessary party in the array of
through its General petitioners
Secretary Ms. Kuljeet
Kaur
Crl. M.P. No. 102148 Citizens for Justice and Seeking intervention and
of 2020 Peace through directions for:

Secretary 1. Transfer of the
investigation to CBI

2. Protection of witnesses
by central para military

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
3

forces

3. Appointment of a retired
Judge of SC to
investigate the
circumstances which led
to the cremation of the
victim.

Crl. M.P. No. 105463 Radhika Vemula & Ors. Praying for following
of 2020 directions:

1. Transfer of all connected
cases of gang-rape and
death from U.P. to Delhi
Special Court

2. Constitution of SIT for
investigation into the
gang-rape and death
tragedy in order to avert
political interference

3. Restraining the
respondents from
conducting polygraph
test, narco-analysis or
brain mapping on the
victim’s family

4. Protection to victim’s
family and other
witnesses.

5. Directing respondents to
strictly implement SC &
ST (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989
I.A. No. 103488 of By Members of Delhi Seeking orders for:
2020 High Court and 1. Constitution of SIT to
Supreme Court Bar investigate the gang-

                          Association                   rape and murder case
                                                        under the Court’s own
                                                        monitoring
                                                     2. Providing          adequate
                                                        protection        to        the
                                                        witnesses
                                                     3. Transfer of trial from U.P.
                                                        to SC/ST Special Court
                                                        in Delhi subject to
                                                        consent from the victim’s
                                                        family
                                                     4. Appointment of a Senior
                                                        Advocate as special
                                                        prosecutor u/s 15 of the
                                                        SC/ST Act, 1989
   I.A. No. 106081 of     Satendra Kumar          Application                seeking
   2020                                           impleadment as respondent in
                                                  WP (Crl.) No. 296 of 2020 or
                                                  in the alternative seeking



WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
                                                                                        4

                                                      permission to intervene in the
                                                      said matter.

   Diary            No.   Letter petitions received   For Appropriate directions
   55441/2020, etc.       through      E-Mail    by   being sought for by SC in the
                          citizens                    gang-rape and murder case
   D.No.   54893/2020,    Letter petitions received   For Appropriate directions
   etc.                   through e-mail/by post      being sought for by SC in the
                                                      gang-rape and murder case
   IA No. 105728 of       Applicant/Shobha            Intervention       Application
   2020                   Gupta                       seeking      permission      to
                                                      intervene to make appropriate
                                                      submissions and suggestions
                                                      as the matter is of extreme
                                                      importance.


   Crl MP No. 105362      Applicant/Rashtriya       Application             for
   of 2020                Dalit Bachao Andolan        Impleadment       as    he
                          Through its President       himself belongs to the
                          O.P Shukla and Others       SC      community     and
                                                      direction to R to ensure
                                                      dignified cremation of all
                                                      the victims of crime and
                                                      no discrimination to be
                                                      made toward SC, ST,
                                                      OBC
                                                    Direction               for
                                                      investigation against the
                                                      officials    who     were
                                                      responsible            for
                                                      cremation and illegal
                                                      detention of the family
                                                      members         to      be
                                                      monitored       by    this
                                                      Hon’ble Court.
   Crl MP No. 105458      Applicant/Radhika         Application             for
   and 105460 of 2020     Vermula and Others          Impleadment            for
                                                      upholding the rights of
                                                      the      SC    and     ST
                                                      community and that of
                                                      society at large
                                                    seeking CBI and SIT
                                                      probe into the case as
                                                      the               impartial
                                                      investigation was being
                                                      conducted by the UP
                                                      police.
   Crl MP No. 105452      Applicant/Munnoka     Application for intervention
   of 2020                Samudaya              seeking an investigation in the

Samrakshana Munnani case against the accused and
through its President into the alleged lapses in the
administration into the case.

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
5

WP(Crl) No. 304 of Petitioner/Chandra Prayer for;

   2020                    Bhan Singh                    1. Mandamus                 for
   Chandra Bhan Singh                                       investigation of the role
   vs State of UP and                                       of R3-R7 for mishandling
   Others                                                   of body of the victim
                                                         2. Direction      to       the
                                                            Investigating agency to
                                                            get statement of the
                                                            Mother,     father     and
                                                            brother of the victim
                                                            before the magistrate
                                                            and if the allegation
                                                            made by the family are
   Connected: WP(Crl)      Connected:   Petitioner/         true to register FIR
   No. 308 of 2020
                           Sushma Motilal Maurya            against the guilty.
   Sushma       Motilal
                                                      Connected: Direction to take
   Maurya vs State of

cognizance, constitution of the
UP and Others
HC monitored Investigation,
inquiry and suspension of the
erring police, medical etc
trying to manipulate the
evidence, charges to be
framed against police who
were responsible for
cremation of the Victim.

WP (Crl) No. 314 of Petitioner/ Public mail Praying for following
2020 Public mail through its publisher
directions:

through its publisher
vs Union of India 1. Mandamus to R to fix
and Others the responsibilities of the
Police officials who burnt
the girl in midnight and
to punish them

2. Transfer the case to
Delhi from Hathras

3. Direction to R to make
special forum or frame
guidelines for such rape
in future.

WP (Crl) No. 316 of Petitioner/ Chetan Petition seeking direction to:

   2020        Chetan      Janardhan Kamble
                                                  1. Register offence u/s
   Janardhan Kamble
   Vs Union of India                                   166-A, 193 ,201, 202,
   and Others                                          203, 212, 217,153A and
                                                       339 of the IPC and 3(2)
                                                       and 4 of the SC and ST
                                                       Act 1989 against Govt
                                                       officials    involved     in
                                                       destruction of evidence
                                                  2. Investigation by Special
                                                            Task Force (excluding



WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
                                                                          6

                                             CBI and UP police
                                          3. Deposit all the evidence
                                             including          videos
                                             collected      at      the
                                             Safdarjung hospital for
                                             examination             by
                                             independent forensic lab
                                          4. Direction         granting
                                             protection by CRPF to
                                             the     witnesses     and
                                             members of the family of
                                             victim            pending
                                             investigation.


3. For a brief narration shorn of unnecessary details and

to note the nature of the relief sought, the petition in W.P.

(Crl.) No.296/2020 is referred. In the Writ Petition filed

under Article 32 of the Constitution of India the petitioners

are praying that the Union of India and concerned

authorities be ordered to conduct a fair investigation; if need

arise by transferring the case to the Central Bureau of

Investigation (‘CBI’ for short) or SIT be formed to investigate

the matter. It is also prayed that a sitting or retired

Supreme Court Judge or High Court Judge be appointed to

look into the matter. The petitioners have further prayed

that the case be transferred from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh to

Delhi.

4. The case as put forth is that a 19­year­old girl,

resident of Hathras village in Uttar Pradesh was brutally

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
7

gang­raped. The manner in which she was assaulted is

referred to in the petition. Though she was shifted to

Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, she breathed her last and she

was cremated in the middle of the night without the

presence of her family members. Considering the manner in

which the entire incident had taken place, the petitioners

contended that a fair investigation would be possible only if

the matter is entrusted to an independent agency.

5. The pleadings in the other writ petitions and the

intervention applications are relating to the same incident

though different reliefs have been sought, which in any

event is to secure fair investigation and punish the guilty in

accordance with law.

6. At the outset, when the first of the petition was taken

up by this Court on 16.10.2020, Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned

Solicitor General had fairly submitted that the instant

petition would not be considered as an adversarial litigation

and the respondents are also interested that a fair

investigation be conducted and the offenders be brought to

book. At that stage, it was noticed that the Allahabad High

Court, Lucknow Bench having taken note of the incident

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
8

had passed a detailed order dated 01.10.2020 and ordered

registration of the suo moto petition being

PIL(C)No.16150/2020. In that circumstance this Court was

of the prima facie view that the petitions filed before this

Court need not be entertained at this stage since the

jurisdictional High Court was seized of the matter. However,

Ms. Indira Jaising, learned Senior Counsel while intervening

on behalf of the intervening advocates had raised concern

with regard to the adequate protection being provided to the

victim’s family members and the witnesses. Having found

that such concern raised needs to be addressed, the learned

Solicitor General was requested to secure instructions on

these aspects and file an appropriate affidavit.

7. Pursuant thereto, an affidavit dated 14.10.2020 sworn

to by the Special Secretary, Home Department, Uttar

Pradesh is filed, wherein the details of the security provided

is indicated. In that regard it is stated that the parents, two

brothers, one sister­in­law and grandmother of the victim

who are residing at village Chandpa, District Hathras, Uttar

Pradesh have been provided protection under a three­fold

protection mechanism through (a) Armed Constabulary

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
9

Component, (b) Civil Police Component and (c) Installation

of CCTV cameras/lights. The details of each of the

component is also stated in the affidavit and it is further

stated that the Inspector (In­charge) of Police Station

Chandpa has been made In­charge of the aforesaid entire

arrangement to deploy suitable police force for the same.

The Circle Officer, Sadabad is to ensure robust security

arrangement by holding regular clear briefings to the police

force and to inform the family members about the security

arrangements provided to them. The affidavit also states

that on enquiry from the family members of the victim it is

learnt that they have engaged Ms. Seema Kushwaha and

Mr. Raj Ratan, Advocates on behalf of the family as their

private advocates.

8. The affidavit also indicates that the investigation by

the CBI would be conducted under the supervision of the

Court in a time bound manner. The Director General of

Police, State of Uttar Pradesh has also filed an affidavit

indicating that the State Government itself has sought

investigation by the CBI to be conducted under the

supervision of the Court and on 10.10.2020 the CBI

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
10

accepted the request of the State and has started

investigation in respect of the crime, on 11.10.2020. The

orders dated 01.10.2020 and 12.10.2020 passed by the

High Court and the fact that the High Court has been

apprised that the investigation by the CBI was in progress is

stated therein.

9. In addition to hearing Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned

Solicitor General who appeared for the State, Mr. Harish

Salve, learned Senior Counsel for DGP and Smt. Seema

Kushwaha on behalf of the family members of the victim as

also the other learned counsel lead by Ms. Indira Jaising,

Mr. Colin Gonsalves, learned Senior Counsel who raised

concern on behalf of the victim’s family in the various writ

petitions and applications, we have taken note of the

submission made by Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned senior

counsel who sought to appear on behalf of the accused to

contend that the legal right available to the accused ought

not to be ignored in the process.

10. Though various contentions were urged, the

undisputed fact is that the investigation has in fact been

entrusted by the State Government itself to the CBI on

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
11

10.10.2020 and the CBI has started investigation in respect

of the crime on 11.10.2020. Therefore, the apprehensions

expressed by the petitioners/applicants that there would be

no proper investigation if the Uttar Pradesh Police

conducted the same would not remain open for

consideration at this stage and the grievance to that extent

stands redressed. Though the petitioners had sought and

the respondent­State also through their affidavit had

indicated that this Court can monitor the same, as already

referred to above, a PIL(C)No.16150/2020 has been

registered in the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench,

suo moto pursuant to its order dated 01.10.2020. From the

order passed by the High Court it is noticed that the High

Court has adequately delved into the aspects relating to the

case to secure fair investigation and has also secured the

presence of the father, mother, brother and sister­in­law of

the victim and appropriate orders are being passed,

including securing reports from various quarters. In that

circumstance, we do not find it necessary to divest the High

Court of the proceedings and take upon this Court to

monitor the proceedings/investigation. That apart, the

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
12

incident having occurred within the jurisdiction of that High

Court and all particulars being available, it would be

appropriate for the High Court to proceed to monitor the

investigation in the manner in which it would desire. In that

view, it would be open for the writ petitioners/applicants

herein to seek to intervene in the matter before the High

Court subject to consideration of such request by the High

Court and if it finds the need to take into consideration the

contentions to be urged by the petitioners/applicants in

that regard.

11. Insofar as the protection to the victim’s family and the

witnesses, the limited purpose for which this Court had

directed notice and sought for an affidavit; the affidavit as

filed no doubt indicates that sufficient steps have been

taken by the State Government to provide protection. Ms.

Indira Jaising, learned Senior Counsel would however,

contend that the protection as provided through the State

Police would not be appropriate and as such the protection

be directed to be provided by the Central Reserve Police

Force (CRPF). It is further contended by her that a Special

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
13

Public Prosecutor be appointed and the monitoring be

made.

12. Having taken note of the contentions and having

perused the affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government

we are convinced that steps have been taken by the State

Government to make adequate arrangement for security to

the victim’s family and witnesses. However, in a matter of

the present nature it is necessary to address the normal

perception and pessimism which cannot be said as being

without justification. In that view, without casting any

aspersions on the security personnel of the State Police; in

order to allay all apprehensions and only as a confidence

building measure, we find it appropriate to direct that the

security to the victim’s family and the witnesses shall be

provided by the CRPF within a week from today.

13. On the aspect relating to the investigation, since we

have indicated that the High Court would look into that

aspect of the matter, the CBI shall report to the High Court

in the manner as would be directed by the High Court

through its orders from time to time. On the request of Ms.

Indira Jaising, learned senior counsel for appointment of a

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
14

Special Public Prosecutor we see no need to pass any

specific order. This is an aspect which could be considered

by the High Court in the light of the provisions of the

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of

Atrocities) Act, 1989. In the circumstance wherein the

family members of the victim have chosen to engage Ms.

Seema Kushwaha and Mr. Raj Ratan, Advocates, they would

consider these aspects and make request on behalf of the

victim in accordance with law if such need arises.

14. Therefore, without expressing any opinion on the

merits of the rival contentions, all aspects of the matter are

left open to be considered by the High Court in PIL(C)

No.16150/2020 relating to the incident regarding which the

investigation is to be conducted by the CBI and also with

regard to the grievance put forth alleging illegal cremation.

With regard to the protection to the victim’s family and

witnesses, the respondent No.2 (Chief Secretary, State of

U.P) in WP(Crl) No.296/2020 shall bring this order to the

notice of the competent officer of the CRPF forthwith with a

request to provide adequate security to the victim’s family

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
15

and the witnesses and the CRPF shall take steps to provide

the same and shall report the same to the High Court.

15. Insofar as the transfer of the case to Delhi as sought

by the petitioners/applicants, Ms. Seema Kushwaha,

learned counsel for the victim’s family indicated that the

need for transfer would arise after the investigation is

complete. On this aspect we are also of the view that it

would be appropriate for investigating agency to complete

the investigation and in any event since the local police have

been divested of the investigation and the CBI is carrying

out the investigation there would be no room for

apprehensions at this stage. However, the issue as to

whether the trial of the case is to be transferred is a matter

which is kept open to be considered if need arises in future.

16. Before parting, we take note of the submission of the

learned Solicitor General about the name and relationship of

the family members with the victim being depicted in the

face of the order dated 12.10.2020 passed by the High Court

in PIL(C) No.16150/2020. Since it is a requirement of law

to avoid such disclosure, the High Court is requested to

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.
16

delete the same and also morph the same in the digital

records and avoid indication of such contents in future.

17. In terms of the above observations and directions, the

writ petitions and applications stand disposed of. No costs.

..…………………………..CJI.

(S. A. Bobde)

…..…………………………..J.

(A. S. Bopanna)

..…..………………………….J
(V. Ramasubramanian)
October 27, 2020
NEW DELHI

WP (Crl) No.296/2020 etc.



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