Expressing unhappiness over non-appearance of Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan through his lawyer in connection with the sensational Bulandshahr gangrape case, Supreme Court asked CBI to serve a fresh notice on the Samajwadi Party leader.
The apex court also asked the investigation agency to send the notice for Khan's personal appearance in the matter.
In late August, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister was asked to appear before the apex court with regard to his remarks in the case, but he failed to do so.
"In our considered opinion, the respondent number 2 (Khan) should have entered appearance as there is a direct allegation against him. In view of the aforesaid, we direct CBI to serve the notice on respondent number 2," a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.
It directed the apex court registry to provide copy of the case records along with the notice to CBI for serving them on the minister.
The court said that it seems whatever had been said by Khan is in "his personal capacity".
The remarks came when Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for CBI, submitted that the notice could have been served through UP government as Khan is part of the cabinet.
The bench, meanwhile, allowed lawyer Kislay Pandey, appearing for the victim's father, to file additional documents in the case and fixed the matter for further hearing on 25 October.
Khan had stirred a controversy by alleging that a "political conspiracy" might be involved in the gangrape of a Noida-based mother and daughter near Bulandshahr.
The urban development and parliamentary affairs minister said that the investigative agencies should explore the possibility of some opposition party being involved in the gang rape.
While justifying the action against policemen on the issue, the minister further said that the government should also keep a watch on opponents as "people can stoop to any levels" in politics.
"To get power, politicians can get down to any level. They can murder people, trigger riots, kill innocent people, so the truth has to be found out," he had said.
In August, eight armed men stopped the family car on the Delhi-Kanpur highway and dragged the members to nearby sugarcane fields and raped the teenager and her 38-year-old mother as other members of the family was tied up.
The mother-daughter duo was ravished barely 100 metres away from the police post as the offenders snatched cash to the tune of Rs 36,000 and some jewellery from the victims.
With inputs from PTI