Nuns want Ranaghat trial in another court

Kolkata (Matters India): Three nuns who are witnesses in the Ranaghat nun rape case of March 2015 have moved Calcutta high court seeking that the trial be moved out of the local court. Sources say that the nuns are scared of being identified when they arrive in the court while testifying.

While hearing the case Justice Sudip Ahluwalia, set the next hearing date to two weeks from then. Justice Sudip Ahluwalia, while hearing the plea, has set the next hearing date two weeks from now. Till then, all trial processes in the local court will remain suspended, he has ordered. All the accused in the case are hardened Bangladeshi criminals who frequently cross over to India to commit dacoities. and slip back across the border

After two and half months of trial the case has reached a stage where the nuns will have to appear in the court. The trial has been on for two and a half months and has reached a stage where the nuns will have to appear in court. Sources in CID said that the state agency does not have a problem with shifting of court but is worried about the trial getting delayed. that it may delay the trialIncidentally, CID had probed another high profile case – the Kamduni gangrape-murder – that was shifted from a local court to Kolkata. The difference being, in the Kamduni case it was the accused (now convicts) who had sought the transfer.

“When people ask why it took us almost 31 months to get justice in the Kamduni case, they must remember that the case was moved to Bankshall court from Barasat court. But we are committed to seeking justice in the Ranagnat case, too. We believe we have a strong case in our hands,” said an investigating officer, The Times of India reported.

A section of CID officers say this is a unique case as the rape survivor has relocated and now even the witnesses are expressing apprehension. Officially though, no one would come on record. While DIG Bharat Lal Meena said he was not authorized to speak, IGP-I (CID) Sanjay Singh passed it on to IGP-II Vineet Goel, since he is handling the case. When contacted, Goel said he was tied up in a meeting.

On the night of March 13 last year, eight robbers broke into the Ranaghat convent and raped a 71-year-old nun. The barbaric crime shamed the country before the world and the Vatican Radio issued a strong condemnation, saying “The rape of an elderly nun during an attack on a Catholic school in eastern India’s West Bengal state, has once more focused on the growing problem of utter disrespect for women’s dignity and rights in India.” CID took up the case and within a fortnight identified all the accused, who were arrested over the next few weeks. The agency even secured the statement of the survivor from Delhi.

Advocate Milon Mukherjee, said there was no legal binding that the confidential statement has to be made in the same court where the matter is pending. “Any metropolitan magistrate or judicial magistrate may , whether or not he has jurisdiction in the case, cac record any confession or statement made to him in the course of an investigation under this chapter or under any other law for the time being in force, or at any time afterwards before the commencement of the inquiry or trial,” said Mukherjee. “This case has taken us to several corners of India and this we are looking to the conviction,” said a CID source.

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