Kathua rape case: SC reprimands J&K bar associations for obstructing judicial proceedings, seeks report by April 19

By: | Published: April 13, 2018 3:55 PM

Kathua rape: So far, eight people, including the mastermind Sanji Ram, have been charged with abduction, rape and murder of a minor girl. The Bar Association of Kathua has opposed the arrest of accused persons.

Supreme Court, Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, Kathua rapeKathua rape: Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court today took suo motu cognisance of the reports suggesting that the counsel of the Kathua rape and murder victim was obstructed from appearing in the court. The court issued a notice to the Bar Council of India, Jammu and Bar Association, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua Bar Association. Besides, it asked bar associations not to obstruct judicial proceedings in the case and sought their response by April 19.

On Wednesday, a group of lawyers had in Jammu protested against the arrest of eight accused and demanded their release. The protest was organised by Hindu Ekta Manch. Two of the BJP ministers were also seen taking part in the demonstration. In Kathua, protests were reported with lawyers trying to block the police from filing the chargesheet. The victim’s lawyer was also stopped by the group from appearing in the court.

Earlier in the day, the court had asked lawyer PN Dinesh to bring materials on record to take judicial note of the strike call given by bar association in the border state. The court took suo motu cognisance after Dinesh submitted the court that directions be issued to bar associations to ensure that rule of law prevails.

So far, eight people, including the mastermind Sanji Ram, have been charged with abduction, rape and murder of a minor girl. The Bar Association of Kathua has opposed the arrest of accused persons. The Jammu Bar Association has been saying that the probe should be handed over to the CBI, asserting that it didn’t support the arrested persons but want a fair investigation. The chargesheet has revealed that the victim was held in a temple, drugged, repeatedly raped and finally murdered to scare the Bakerwal community out of the village. Police said that Sanji had also bribed local police officials to destroy vital evidence.

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