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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 11:13 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 2:04 AM (IST)

Kathua case: SC notice to J&K on demand for transfer of trial to Chandigarh

Victim's biological father opposes CBI probe
Kathua case: SC notice to J&K on demand for transfer of trial to Chandigarh
Sanjhi Ram arrives for a court appearance after he was arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Reuters
Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 16

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Jammu and Kashmir Government on a petition filed by the biological father of the minor victim of the Kathua rape seeking transfer of the trial from Kathua to Chandigarh.

Asking the state government to respond to the transfer plea, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra posted the matter for further hearing on April 27.

On behalf of the petitioner, senior advocate Indira Jaising said the atmosphere was so polarised in Kathua that a fair trial couldn’t be held there, and therefore the case should be transferred out of the state.

As senior advocate Bhim Singh sought transfer of the probe to the CBI, Jaising vehemently opposed it. "The state police have done a commendable job," she said. 

"We are only concerned with fair trial, protection of victim's family and their lawyers," said the CJI, refusing to allow anyone else to intervene. 

 Jaising also requested the court to monitor the case. 

When Jaising raised the issue of protection of the victim's family, Jammu and Kashmir Government counsel M Soeb Alam said the state has already provided five armed policemen, including an ASI, for their security. 

The Bench said the protection should continue. It also asked the state to provide protection to advocate Rajawat who is extending legal assistance to the family after Jaising said the lawyer was facing grave threats in Kathua where lawyers had allegedly obstructed court proceedings. 

The minor victim had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua on January 10 and her body was found a week later in the same locality. She was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a place of worship and then killed.  

The Supreme Court had on Friday issued notices to Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir State Bar Council, the state’s High Court Bar Association at Jammu and the Kathua District Bar Association after a group of lawyers told it that some lawyers were allegedly obstructing court proceedings in the Kathua rape case. 

Taking cognizance of alleged unruly behavior of some lawyers, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra asked bar members in Jammu and Kathua not to obstruct judicial proceedings in the case. 

The BCI had on Saturday decided to send a team to look into the allegations levelled against local lawyers. 

Lawyers in Kathua and Jammu had earlier gone on strike against filing of a charge sheet in the case. Some lawyers had allegedly obstructed a woman lawyer and prevented her from representing victim's family. 

The state police have already completed the probe and filed a charge sheet against the accused. They were expected to file a supplementary charge sheet in the case.

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