Some witnesses in the Kathua rape-murder case, whose statements form the basis of the chargesheet against the accused, complained to the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they were tortured by Jammu and Kashmir police. Counsel Ravi Sharma told a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that witnesses were tortured and their families harassed by investigating officers of J&K police in order to extract statements against the accused.
Sharma also demanded compensation of Rs 50 lakh each to the witnesses who were allegedly tortured and requested the court to direct the Centre to provide them security. J&K's standing counsel M Shoeb Alam refuted the allegations and said the police had "startling facts" about the manner in which these witnesses had attempted to mislead the investigation.
"There are very disturbing and startling facts about the witnesses. Give us 24 hours and we will put all material about them in a sealed cover before the court. Whatever the Supreme Court decides thereafter is acceptable to us," Alam said, accusing the witnesses of being turncoats. The statements in question against the accused were recorded under Section 164 CrPC before a magistrate which is admissible in court as evidence.
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