Investigation in the Bulandshahar rape case stayed in the light of statements made by Azam Khan

Supreme Court: In the Bulandshahar rape case where the father of the victim girl had prayed that the case be transferred to another State, upon been disillusioned about the process of fair investigation in the State of Uttar Pradesh because of various developments and, more so, with regard to the public addresses made by Azam Khan in which he termed the entire incident as a “political conspiracy only and nothing else”, the Court stayed the investigations and asked Fali S. Nariman to assist the Court on the below mentioned issues:

  • When a victim files an FIR alleging rape, gang rape or murder or such other heinous offences against another person or group of persons, whether any individual holding a public office or a person in authority or in-charge of governance, should be allowed to comment on the crime stating that “it is an outcome of political controversy”, more so, when as an individual, he has nothing to do with the offences in question?
  • Should the “State”, the protector of citizens and responsible for law and order situation, allow these comments as they have the effect potentiality to create a distrust in the mind of the victim as regards the fair investigation and, in a way, the entire system?
  • Whether the statements do come within the ambit and sweep of freedom of speech and expression or exceed the boundary that is not permissible?
  • Whether such comments (which are not meant for self-protection) defeat the concept of constitutional compassion and also conception of constitutional sensitivity?

The Bench of Dipak Misra and C. Nagappan, JJ has listed the matter to be taken up on 27.09.2016. [Kaushal Kishor v. State of U.P., 2016 SCC OnLine SC 876, order dated 29.08.2016]

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