Tribune News Service
Pathankot, November 14
Jammu-based lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat was today removed from the team of prosecutors in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl belonging to a minority community in Kathua.
The complainant and girl’s father moved an application before judge Dr Tejwinder Singh through counsel Mubeen Farooqi seeking Rajawat’s withdrawal from the case, to which the court agreed.
Rajawat, as counsel for the victim’s family, had moved the Supreme Court to get the case shifted from Kathua to Pathankot.
In his application, Farooqi claimed since the two Special Public Prosecutors, Santokh Singh Basra and Jagdeeshwar Kumar Chopra, “were doing an effective job, we seek the withdrawal of power of attorney of Deepika”.
She had appeared just a couple of times in the Pathankot court ever since the case was shifted here in May. “The case is being heard on a day-to-day basis, but Deepika thought it prudent to appear just three or four times in the last six months. That is why we have moved an application seeking her withdrawal,” said Farooqi.
The victim’s father, who had engaged Deepika, appeared personally in the court today.
Deepika said the move had come as a “surprise” for her. “The case is in safe hands with two senior advocates handling the prosecution side. The crime branch officers of the J&K Police too are doing a competent job.”
Deepika added that it was difficult for her to appear every day as she had to deal with her professional commitments in Jammu.
Rajawat had earlier claimed she was being discouraged by members of the Jammu Bar Association from appearing on behalf of the victim’s family. She had then approached the Chief Justice seeking security.
"I never charged single rupee from the complainant and all I wanted was justice be served to the victim... I’m currently overworked and have several cases in both lower courts and Jammu and Kashmir High Court." — Deepika Singh Rajawat, lawyer
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The case dates back to 2015