The Supreme Court on 5 October transferred the plea seeking FIR against former Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan for his controversial statement over the Bulandshahr gangrape case to a five-judge constitution bench.
The apex court referred questions like whether a public functionary or a minister can claim freedom of speech while airing views on a sensitive matter which is under investigation.
The court was hearing a plea filed by a man, whose wife and daughter were allegedly gang-raped in July last year on a highway near Bulandshahr.
The petitioner moved the court seeking transfer of the case to Delhi and lodging of an FIR against Khan for his controversial statement that the gang-rape case was a "political conspiracy".
The incident had happened on 29 July, 2016 when a group of robbers stopped the car of a Noida-based family and sexually assaulted a woman and her daughter at gun-point.
However, Khan on December 15 last year, tendered an "unconditional apology" for the remark, which the apex court had accepted.