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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an application from the Archbishop of Cuttack, Raphael Cheenath, for a CBI probe into the rape of a nun, working at K. Nuagaon in Orissa, by a mob on August 25.
A Bench consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal, however, asked the Orissa government to take steps to rebuild churches and other religious places destroyed during the violence that followed the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda on August 23.
The Bench in its order said: “As nine accused have already been arrested by the State police, we do not think at this stage that further investigation should be handed over from the State police to the CBI. In the interest of the victim as well as in the interest of justice, the victim should cooperate with the State police in the investigation and identification of the accused at the Test Identification Parade.”
The Bench asked the State to set up fast track courts for expeditious trial of the cases arising out the violence in Kandhamal and other areas.
On the petitioner’s demand for a Rs.3-crore compensation for the churches demolished during the communal violence, it asked the government to take a generous view, identify the number of churches damaged, assess the extent of damage and assist in rebuilding them.
The Bench asked the State to pay compensation for damaged schools and institutions and to the families of the victims killed in the violence.
The Bench asked the Centre not to withdraw the paramilitary forces deployed in the riot-hit areas till December-end in view of Christmas.
Earlier, senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the Archbishop, said the nun had no faith in the State police. He said the State knew who the accused were but lacked the political will to control violence.
The Chief Justice intervened and said: “It is easy to talk about principles, but difficult to implement. He said: “See what happened yesterday [on Tuesday]. For the sake of one person [MNS leader Raj Thackeray], the common man had to suffer as he could not go to office, catch a bus … there are other ways of dealing with the issues, to have interactions with conflicting groups.”
Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Orissa, said nine persons had been arreste. But non-cooperation by the victim in identifying the accused was hampering the probe. He assured the court that charge sheets would be filed in 30 days once the accused were identified.
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