Kathua rape case: SC raps Jammu lawyers, holds them responsible for obstructing filing of charge sheet

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New Delhi | Published: April 19, 2018 5:34:12 PM

The Supreme Court on Thursday held Jammu lawyers responsible for blocking the filing of charge sheet in the Kathua minor rape and murder case even as the lawyers said that they were protesting on separate issues. 

Supreme Court raps Jammu lawyers for blocking the filing of charge sheet in the Kathua minor rape and murder case. (Source: IE)

The Supreme Court on Thursday held Jammu lawyers responsible for blocking the filing of charge sheet in the Kathua minor rape and murder case even as the lawyers said that they were protesting on separate issues. “We are not concerned with anything, we are concerned with a fair trial. You created a situation, police had to file the charge sheet at the residence of the magistrate,” said a three-judge division bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The bench also said, “Whatever may be the background (of the protest), the resultant action was wrong.”

In their defence, the lawyers claimed that they were protesting on different issues but unfortunately it got mixed up with the filing of the charge sheet. The lawyers also assured the top court that there would be no obstruction in the trial of the rape and murder case.

The Jammu High Court Bar Association also distanced itself from the lawyers’ protest and told apex court that it did not support it. Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India informed the top court 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.

The court asked all the parties — the Jammu High Court Bar Association, the Bar Council of India and others — to file their response by April 24 and listed the matter for hearing next week.

The apex court had on April 13 taken serious note of lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the Kathua gangrape and murder case and initiated a case on its own accord, saying such impeding of the process of law “affects the delivery of justice”.

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