SC Dismisses UP Govt’s Petition Against Order to Relocate Hathras Rape Victim’s Family

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging an order to relocate the family members of the Hathras rape victim and consider giving a job to one of her family members.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala expressed surprise over the fact that the state had filed an appeal against an Allahabad High Court order.

On Additional Advocate General (AAG) of Uttar Pradesh Garima Prashad’s submission that the state is ready to relocate the victims’ family members but they want to be relocated to either Noida or Ghaziabad or Delhi and whether the elder, married brother could be regarded as a “dependent” of the victim was a question of law to be considered, the bench said it is not inclined to interfere with the high court order, considering the “special facts and circumstances” of the case.

“These are facilities provided to the family. We should not interfere. The state should not come up in these matters,” the CJI told Prashad.

When the AAG requested that the question of law be kept open, the CJI pointed out that the order had specified that it was passed considering the special facts and circumstances of the case.

The high court had noted that the majority of the population in the village belonged to the upper castes and it is stated that the family, which belonged to a Scheduled Caste, was always targeted by other villagers and even after being under the security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), whenever the family members went out, they were subjected to abuse and objectionable comments.

In that backdrop, the court had directed the government to relocate the family within the state.

The 19-year-old victim died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly rape by four men from her village on September 14, 2020.

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