SC pulls up Jammu lawyers, calls for fair trial in Kathua rape-murder case

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New Delhi, April 19: The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up Jammu lawyers for obstructing the filing of chargesheet in the Kathua rape and murder case even as they claimed they were protesting on a different issue.
“We are not concerned with anything, we are concerned with fair trial. You created a situation, police had to file the charge sheet at the residence of the magistrate,” said a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.
The lawyers insisted that they were protesting on a different issue that got mixed up with the filing of the chargesheet
“Whatever may be the background (of the protest), the resultant action was wrong,” Justice Misra said as the court was told that the protesting lawyers have retreated and assured that there would be no obstruction in the trial of the rape and murder of the eight-year-old victim from the Bakerwal community in Jammu’s Hiranagar area.
Asking all the parties to file their response about their incidence and the conduct of protesting lawyers, the court directed the matter for further on April 26.
The Jammu High Court Bar Association told the Supreme Court that it did not support lawyers’ protest in connection with the Kathua gangrape and murder case.
The Bar Council of India told the bench that they have constituted a team, headed by a former high court judge, which will visit Kathua to assess the situation relating to lawyers protest. Meanwhile, the Kathua District Bar Association said they had already withdrawn the strike on April 12.
The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua, on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.
The Crime Branch of police which probed the case filed a main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district earlier this week.
The charge sheet revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a place of worship before being killed. (Agencies)