Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak

Tuesday, 17 Apr, 2018

They further said that the Jammu Bar Association had spoken "in defence of the culprits accused of heinous crimes such as rape and murder" and "pressed for transfer of the case from Crime Branch to the CBI".

The SC also asked the state government to provide security to the family and lawyer of the eight-year-old who was raped and murdered in Kathua in January.

Notably, the victim's father has moved the Supreme Court after his lawyer, Deepika Singh Rajawat, claimed threat to her life. The victim's father had also asked the apex court for adequate security for family members of the victim, the local Advocate Rajawat and her family members and Advocate Talib Hussain. So fair trial is impossible. "Let us not go into other areas", the court said.

Subsequently, Jaising raised the issue of safety of the counsel for the victim's family. "She is here today but will go back to Jammu".

However, later, it was clarified that the father of the victim filed the petition and another petition was filed by the Delhi-based advocate seeking a CBI probe into the case. We are satisfied with a state police probe. All evidence is on record including DNA evidence. "It is critical that justice is given to the child", she said.

The top court had on April 13 taken strong note of some lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the gangrape and murder case and initiated a case on its own record, saying such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice". Normally, the police is the investigating agency unless there is some strong reason to hand over the probe to another agency.

The father also sought a direction from the Apex Court for transfer of the trial from Kathua in J&K Court to Chandigarh Court.

Counsel Shoeb Alam for the state submitted that the victim's family had already been granted police protection and the lawyer would also be provided protection.

Read the order below.