Kathua rape and murder case: Did not support lawyers' protest, Jammu HC Bar Association tells Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Jammu High Court Bar Association on Thursday 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 a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra 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Bar Association told the bench, comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, that they have already withdrawn the strike on 12 April itself.

File image of Supreme Court of India. PTI

File image of Supreme Court of India. PTI

Advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the state opposed the tagging of plea filed by the victim's father, who is seeking the transfer of case from Kathua to Chandigarh, with the suo motu matter related to lawyers' protest there.

The bench, while clarifying that the administration of justice can't be interfered with, asked the Jammu High Court Bar Association, BCI and others to file their affidavits by 24 April and listed the matter for hearing in the next week.

The apex court had on 13 April took 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".

The top court had said that lawyers' bodies have solemn duty to not obstruct advocates representing the accused or the victims' family in the courts.

The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua, on 10 January.

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.

Jammu has been on tenterhooks since the brutal incident. The bar associations have been opposing the action against the accused, alleging that the minority Dogras were being targeted.

Lawyers took to the streets shouting slogans and trying to block the road outside the court where the charge sheets have been filed.

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 13:02:51 IST

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