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SC transfers Bilkis case to Maharashtra

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 06, 2004 16:10 IST
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The Supreme Court today shifted the trial of Bilkis Yakub Rasool gangrape case from Ahmedabad to Mumbai on the apprehension of the victim and the Central Bureau of Investigation that witnesses could come to harm if the trial was held in Gujarat.

This is the second case to be transferred to Maharashtra by the Supreme Court after it had directed on April 12 this year the trial of Best Bakery case to be shifted to Mumbai from Gujarat.

The order was passed by a three-judge bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal, Justice S B Sinha and Justice S H Kapadia on a petition filed by Bilkis who had alleged that the police was hand-in-glove with the accused and that she expected no fair trial in Gujarat as witnesses were being systematically threatened.

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The CBI, while it supported the claim of the victim, had arrested six police officials as accused in the case for causing disappearance of bodies. The case pertained to an incident near Panivela village in Dahod district, where Bilkis and her family was attacked by a mob during the riots.

The court, while transferring the case, observed that it was not a reflection on the judiciary of the state and the case was being shifted keeping in mind the apprehensions of the investigating agency and the victim.

It requested the Bombay high court Chief Justice to assign the case to an appropriate court.

The court also directed CBI to appoint a public prosecutor to avoid the controversy as to who should make the appointment as has arisen in the Best Bakery case pending before a Mumbai court.

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