Kathua rape and murder case updates: Delhi lawyers take out silent march against J&K advocates

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Kathua rape and murder case updates: Delhi lawyers take out silent march against J&K advocates
  • 16:46 (IST)

    Jammu lawyers suspend agitation, resume work
     
    The Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) on Monday resumed work after staying away from courts for 12 days in support of their various demands including handing over the Kathua rape and murder case to CBI and deportation of illegally settled Rohingyas. The decision to resume work was taken at a general house meeting of the JHCBA held under the chairmanship of its president B S Slathia.
     
    “The general house decided to temporarily suspend the agitation, responding to the appeal of Bar Council of India (BCI), and the Supreme Court taking cognizance of the issue (Kathua rape and murder case),” Slathia said. - PTI (Read more here)

  • 16:33 (IST)

    Advocate ND Pachauli asks 'how can lawyers in Jammu and Kashmir not allow chargesheet to be filed?'

    One of the protesting lawyers Advocate ND Pachauli asked how can lawyers in Jammu and Kashmir not allow chargesheet to be filed when such a heinous crime has been committed.

  • 16:22 (IST)

    A section of lawyers are not allowing legal action to be taken smoothly

    One of the protesting lawyers, Som Dutt, said that a section of lawyers in Jammu and Kashmir is not allowing legal course to be taken smoothly in the case and it is unfair. 

  • 16:08 (IST)

    Those disrupting rule of law using saffron flags should be punished: Lawyers

    Lawyers protesting near the Supreme Court say that those who try to interfere with the rule of law after raising saffron flags, must be punished.

  • 16:05 (IST)

    SC issued orders to authorities to protect us: Kathua case lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat

  • 16:02 (IST)

    We will ensure justice is given: BJP MLA Ravinder Raina

    Meanwhile, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said, "We will ensure that justice is given. We have full faith in the judicial system. It's the most autonomous body and doesn't work under anyone's pressure."- CNN-News 18

  • 15:58 (IST)

    Shalu Nigam says lawyers who stood for the accused should be punished by the cancellation of licenses

  • 15:49 (IST)

    Protesting lawyers take out silent march from Indian Law Institute to Bar Council of India in Delhi

    The lawyers demand that the lawyers who stood for accused should be punished by cancellation of licenses.

  • 15:44 (IST)

    SC lawyer Indira Jaisingh says 'state police has done a good job'

    Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising told the apex court, said, "State police had done a good job and it not only arrested all the accused persons on evidence but also on a scientific basis." Appearing for the victim's father, she told the Supreme Court, "The atmosphere is not conducive to a fair trial. The atmosphere is highly polarised."- ANI

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Lawyers protest outside Supreme Court over the conduct of lawyers in Jammu

  • 15:22 (IST)

    SC notice to Jammu and Kashmir govt, orders security for Kathua victim's family, lawyer

    The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir state government seeing a reply on the Kathua rape and murder case plea that was file by the victim's father. The apex court has also ordered security to victim's family and lawyer. The next hearing on the plea to transfer case will be on 27 April. (Read more here.)

  • 15:09 (IST)

    SC commences hearing, senior advocate Indira Jaising says situation in Jammu not fit for fair trial

  • 15:00 (IST)

    As Kerala shuts down to protest incident, normal life gets derailed; several protesters taken into custody

    A shutdown called by a section of social media users against the rape and murder of a girl in Jammu and Kashmir derailed normal life in parts of Kerala. Police took several protesters into custody. The worst affected districts included Kozhikode, Kannur, Malappuram, Palakkad and parts of Thiruvananthapuram. What began as a campaign in the social media on Sunday against the brutality heaped on an eight-year-old in Kathua region led to a shutdown on Monday. Angry demonstrators, some shouting anti-RSS slogans, blocked traffic and forced shops to shut. - Read more here

  • 14:53 (IST)

    Chargesheet to be provided to accused on Tuesday

    According to NDTV, chargesheet will be provided to the accused on Tuesday while the plea to move the case out of Jammu and Kashmir will be heard on Monday.

  • 14:43 (IST)

    Chargesheet says abduction, rape carefully planned to remove nomadic community from area
     
     
    The victim from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death. 
     
    According to the chargesheets filed by the Crime Branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic community from the area. A separate chargesheet was filed for the juvenile. The counsel for the accused demanded a copy of the chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch on April 9 before the chief judicial magistrate.- PTI

  • 14:18 (IST)

    Sessions Court to hear Kathua rape case on 28 April

  • 13:45 (IST)

    Supreme Court to hear plea to move case out of Jammu and Kashmir at 2 pm

    The victim's father has approached the Supreme Court seeking safety, security and transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir to a Chandigarh court. The Supreme Court is set to hear the matter at 2 pm. Victim's father believes there cannot be a fair trial in Kathua.

  • 13:24 (IST)

    RECAP: Eight accused in Kathua rape case produced before court today, next hearing on 28 April

    The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in Kathua on Monday pleaded not guilty and asked the district and sessions judge for a narco test.

    As the trial in the case, which has become the focal point of outrage across the country, began in Kathua, District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Gupta asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused and fixed 28 April as the next date of hearing. 

  • 13:06 (IST)

    Jammu Bar not favouring rapists, say women lawyers, claim victim's family had flagged unfair inquiry

    After lawyer Deepika Singh Rajwat — who is fighting the case of an eight-year-old girl from Kathua who was raped and murdered — accused the Jammu High Court Bar Association president of threatening her, the Jammu Bar on Sunday sent a team of women lawyers to defend its president Bopinder Singh Salathia. The Bar had come under criticism for calling a strike against the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and demanding a CBI probe into the incident.

    "We are not favouring rapists, we demand justice for the victims. The dispensation of justice should not become a political football," said Kaur, adding, "There was a writ petition filed by the victim's family that said that the police had not launched a proper inquiry into the case.”

  • 12:51 (IST)

    'Being called anti-Hindu,' claims lawyer Deepika Rajawat

    Lawyer Deepika Rajawat, who is representing the victim's family in the Kathua rape and murder case, said that she was being called "anti-Hindu" and facing social boycott for taking up the case, as per The Indian Express."Today, I don’t know, I am not in my senses. I can be raped, I can be killed and may be they won’t allow me to practice in court. They (have) isolated me, I don’t know how I can survive," the report quoted Rajawat as saying. 

  • 12:30 (IST)

    Victim's relatives accuse media of ignoring Kathua rape for three months

    Relatives of the victim present outside the Kathua court on Monday accused the media of ignoring extensive reportage of this heinous crime for nearly three months. - IANS

  • 12:21 (IST)

    PIL asks for case transfer, additional security

    According to the copy of the PIL with Bar and Benchthe appellants have requested for the following:

    • Issue appropriate write, order or direction to transfer case to a court of "competent jurisdiction" at Chandigarh.
    • Adequate security in plain clothes police to victim's family, lawyer Deepika Rajawat and Talib Hussain.
    • Direct concerned authorities to strengthen security at home where accused juvenile is lodged, not let unauthorised persons meet him.
    • Order a court-monitored probe. 
    • Issue a stay on proceedings before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kathua

  • 12:08 (IST)

    Indira Jaising to represent lawyer Deepika Rajawat as well seeking security for family

    A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission advanced by senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing Deepika Rajawat and Anuja Kapur, for urgent hearing of the two petitions on Monday itself.

    A plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur, seeks transfer of the sensational gangrape case from Kathua trial court to a local court in the National Capital.

  • 11:54 (IST)

    Visuals of protests against Kathua, Unnao cases across the country

  • 11:43 (IST)

    Senior lawyer Indira Jaising to appear on behalf of Kathua victim's father in SC

    The Supreme Court will hear the victim's father's plea to move the Kathua rape case to Chandigarh from Jammu. Senior Counsel Indira Jaising will appear on behalf of the victim's family, reported Live Law.

  • 11:40 (IST)

    Nirbhaya's mother says slow pace of judicial system aiding rapists

    Speaking to ANIthe 2012 Delhi gangrape victim Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said that crimes like the Kathua and Unnao rape cases were taking place because the slow of the judicial system was not instilling fear in the culprits' minds. 

  • 11:33 (IST)

    Accused juvenile moves bail application, matter to be heard today

    The juvenile accused arrested in the Kathua rape and murder case has moved a bail application before the judicial magistrate. The matter will be heard later on Monday. 

  • 11:32 (IST)

    All eight accused plead 'not guilty', demand narco test

    All eight accused in Kathua rape and murder case have pleaded 'not guilty', and asked the district and sessions judge for a narco test.  

  • 11:25 (IST)

    Medical checkup of DCW chief Swati Maliwal underway

    Demanding the death penalty for rapists, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal continued her indefinite hunger strike on Monday despite warnings from doctors. 

  • 11:20 (IST)

    WATCH: Accused Sanji Ram's daughter alleges conspiracy, demands CBI probe 

    Speaking to reporters, the key accused Sanji Ram's daughter alleged there was a conspiracy and demanded a CBI probe into the case. 

  • 11:16 (IST)

    Lawyer asks for full copy of chargesheet

    "After the case was called and all accused appeared, I filed my Wakalatnama. I asked for a copy of chargesheet. There is 490-page copy and I did not receive any copy. Is this a hallmark of a fair trial?" asked one of the accused's lawyers. 

  • 11:12 (IST)

    Accused Sanji Ram said narco test will clear out everything

    According to the main accused in the Kathua rape case, Sanji Ram said that everything will be clear after Narco test.

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Victim's father asks Supreme Court to transfer case out of Jammu and Kashmir

    Eight-year-old victim's father approached the Supreme Court seeking safety, security and transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir. The family will ask the apex court to let the case be heard in Chandigarh instead. The Supreme Court wil hear the matter at 2 pm, reports said.

  • 10:30 (IST)

    Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch to hand over notices issued to Jammu, Kathua Bar Council

    The crime branch will be handing over the notices issued to the Jammu Bar Council as well as Kathua Bar Council for appearing before the Supreme Court on 19 April.

  • 10:16 (IST)

    WATCH: Spot where eight-year-old girl was raped and killed in Kathua

  • 10:13 (IST)

    'Full chargesheet copy not provided to us,' claims accused constable's lawyer

    Speaking to ANI, the counsel for accused constable Tilak Raj, in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, said that he has not been provided with the copy of the full chargesheet. "Full chargesheet copy has not been provided to us. We are depending on information from social media. We are handicapped," counsel Aseem Sahni said. 

  • 10:06 (IST)

    Death penalty won't solve problem, attitude towards women needs to change

    The facts show that to prevent sexual crimes, we have to make large changes in our society and its treatment of women at the level of the family, writes Aakar Patel in this Firstpost article. And we need to ensure that the existing laws on reporting sexual violence are followed at the level of every police station across India. This is very, very hard work but it will ensure that the rate of reporting goes up, at least to the levels where it is in the rest of the world. After the rate of reporting goes up, the state needs to ensure that it conducts proper investigations (which need resources and cannot be done with the same force or budget) that increases the rate of convictions.

  • 09:56 (IST)

    Indian students groups in Britain seek swift action in Kathua, Unnao rapes

    As many as 19 Indian student and alumni groups in various British universities have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, seeking tough measures against the culprits before he addresses his "Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath" event in London on 18 April.

    "We, the Indian student and alumni community in the UK, are deeply horrified and demand immediate proceedings against the accused in both cases (Kathua and Unnao). By taking swift and strict action, please show that the Indian government's initial silence and delayed response to these horrific crimes against humanity are not a support of the accused because the accused have some or the other link with those in power."

    "Prime Minister, you have not shied away from taking difficult decisions in the past, such as with demonetisation. Please take similar extraordinary steps to prove that India's daughters matter," the groups said in the letter. - IANS

  • 09:44 (IST)

    Delhi lawyers to hold protest march at 3 pm today

    Lawyers in New Delhi will be holding a march in protest at 3 pm on Monday against the "conduct" of lawyers of the Bar Association Jammu, who earlier had come out in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. 

    The lawyers will march to the Bar Council of India and present a memorandum demanding action against the Jammu lawyers. 

  • 09:38 (IST)

    WATCH: Kathua rape and murder case trial to begin today

  • 09:27 (IST)

    RECAP: Bar Association Kathua withdraws offer to contest accused's case for free

    The Bar Association Kathua (BAK) on Saturday withdrew its offer to contest without charge the case of the eight people accused in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in the district.

    "We have withdrawn our offer to contest the case free of cost. Accused are free to engage any individual advocate and exercise their respective rights of defence in the court. It is for any individual advocate to accept the brief and the bar association will not come in the way of defence nor will hamper the prosecution," BAK president Kirty Bhushan Mahajan said. - PTI

  • 09:19 (IST)

    Congress leader Kapil Sibal tweets on Kathua, Unnao rape cases

  • 09:15 (IST)

    Kathua rape case hearing to take place at Kathua Session Court

  • 09:04 (IST)

    Children, adults rally nationwide over Kathua and Unnao rape cases, demand justice and strict punishment for rapists

    Scores of people took to streets on Sunday protesting over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Condemning the government response in the two cases, protesters demanded swift trial and strict punishment for the culprits.

    Various civil society groups sent invites on social media asking people to unite and demand justice for the two girls. Protests were held at Parliament Street in New Delhi where people gathered under the banner of NotInMyName against increasing incidents of rape and atrocities on Dalits and minorities.

  • 08:56 (IST)

    Kathua victim's father to move Supreme Court today to transfer case outside Jammu

    According to media reports, the eight-year-old girl's father will approach the Supreme Court today to seek to move the trial of the rape and murder of his daughter to Chandigarh from Kathua. 

    The victim's biological father, Mohammad Akhtar, has permitted the legal team to approach the apex court, reported DNA. 

  • 08:51 (IST)

    Kathua rape case must be heard outside Jammu, victim's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat tells Firstpost

    Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer appearing in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on behalf of *****’s father Mohammad Akhtar is determined to fight for justice for the eight-year-old girl who was brutally gang-raped and murdered in the Kathua district of Jammu in January this year.

    "I do not think the case should be taken up in Jammu. I will discuss the matter with Mohammad Akhtar about transferring the case to another court," she said. 

  • 08:48 (IST)

    People take part in a candlelight vigil at protest demanding justice for Kathua and Unnao rape case victims, in Moradabad 

    Image courtesy: PTI

  • 08:42 (IST)

    Alleged conspirator Sanji Ram's family wants CBI probe

    The family members of Sanji Ram, the alleged conspirator of the Kathua rape and murder case, have said that he should be hanged publicly but only if a CBI probe into the case finds him guilty.

    "My father (Sanji Ram) and brother (Vishal) should be hanged to death if they are found guilty, provided the investigation is conducted by a credible agency. We want justice for the girl by a probe through credible agency and only such probe can ensure our father's and brother's innocence," one of Ram's daughters said.

    "Media should have heard us, our side and our fears on the probe by the Crime Branch. Wanting a CBI probe to give justice to 8-year girl, meant to media that we were shielding culprits or creating hurdle in the probe. It was wrong. We always batted for justice for the girl," she said. - PTI

  • 08:29 (IST)

    Delhi Commission for Women fasts for third day against doctors advice

    Demanding the death penalty for rapists, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal continued her indefinite hunger strike for the third day on Sunday despite warnings from doctors. "Her (Maliwal's) medical condition is not good. Doctors have advised her to break her fast but she is not giving up," a DCW official said. 

    The DCW chief tweeted: "The police initially asked me to vacate the place. Now the DCP has come with entire police force with a false doctors' report saying my life is in danger. But I can run for 5 km. They will forcibly pick me up in the night. They are not allowing me to consult a private doctor. What is the fear @narendramodi?"

  • 08:23 (IST)

    Kathu wouldn't have happened if state had acted on Kunan-Poshpora, say mass rape victims

    For the survivors of the horrific 1991 Kunan-Poshpora mass rapes, the murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua has reopened old wounds, reported Greater Kashmir. The survivors came from their hamlet to show solidarity for the minor victim in Kathua. 

    While expressing happiness that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is seeking to expedite the process by asking for a fast track court, a victim who had come along with other people from the village, said: "If this one rape has shaken her conscience, why is she unfazed by the mass rape of women by armed forces in Kunan-Poshpora? Doesn’t she have a responsibility towards us also?"

    "If the state would have booked the perpetrators (armed forces) who unleashed terror in the village and raped our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives; a minor girl would not have been raped. Kunan-Poshpara could have acted as a deterrent, so that no girl in Jammu and Kashmir would ever be raped,” she further said. 

Kathua rape case latest updates: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir state government seeing a reply on the Kathua rape and murder case plea that was filed by the victim's father. The apex court has also ordered security to victim's family and lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat. Meanwhile, Delhi lawyers take out silent march against those lawyers who are disrupting law in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to reporters, the key accused Sanji Ram's daughter alleged there was a conspiracy and demanded a CBI probe into the case. The Sessions Court on Monday set 28 April as the next date of hearing.

The eight-year-old victim's father approached the Supreme Court seeking safety, security and transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir. The family will ask the apex court to let the case be heard in Chandigarh instead. The Supreme Court will hear the matter at 2 pm, reports said.

The juvenile accused arrested in the Kathua rape and murder case has moved a bail application before the judicial magistrate. The matter will be heard later on Monday.

The Supreme Court will hear the victim's father's plea to move the Kathua rape case to Chandigarh from Jammu. Senior Counsel Indira Jaising will appear on behalf of the victim's family, reported Live Law.

Eight-year-old victim's father approached the Supreme Court seeking safety, security and transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir. The family will ask the apex court to let the case be heard in Chandigarh instead. The Supreme Court wil hear the matter at 2 pm, reports said. The court, meanwhile, postponed the hearing and set 28 April as the next date.

Appearing for the accused the lawyer said that the court directed that copies of the chargesheet should be provided to all accused. The lawyer alleged that after the case was called and all accused appeared, he filed his Wakalatnama. "I asked for a copy of chargesheet, there is 490-page copy and I did not receive any copy. Is this a hallmark of a fair trial," the lawyer was quoted as saying by reports. Meanwhile, accused Sanji Ram said that a narco test would reveal the truth. Reports said that a narco test might be likely in the Kathua rape and murder case.

Lawyers in New Delhi will be holding a march in protest at 3 pm on Monday against the "conduct" of lawyers of the Bar Association Jammu, who earlier had come out in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.

For the survivors of the horrific 1991 Kunan-Poshpora mass rapes, the murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua has reopened old wounds, reported Greater KashmirThe survivors came from their hamlet to show solidarity for the minor victim in Kathua. "If the state would have booked the perpetrators (armed forces) who unleashed terror in the village and raped our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives; a minor girl would not have been raped. Kunan-Poshpara could have acted as a deterrent, so that no girl in Jammu and Kashmir would ever be raped,” a victim said.

The trial in the Kathua rape case is set to begin on Monday amid nationwide protests against the rape incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. Scores of people took to streets on Sunday protesting over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.

According to media reports, the eight-year-old girl's father will approach the Supreme Court today to seek to move the trial of the rape and murder of his daughter to Chandigarh from Kathua.

The family members of Sanji Ram, the alleged conspirator of the Kathua rape and murder case, have said that he should be hanged publicly but only if a CBI probe into the case finds him guilty. The family members also criticised the national media for portraying their agitation for a CBI probe into the case as "pro-rapists" and "pro-culprits", and said the scribes were "delivering judgments without investigation".

Speaking to ANI on Sunday, the Kathua victim's family's counsel Deepika Rajawat said that she was threatened on Saturday and does not know till when she will be alive. "I don't know till when I will be alive. I can be raped, my modesty can be outraged, I can be killed, I can be damaged. I was threatened yesterday that 'we will not forgive you'. I am going to tell SC tomorrow that I am in danger," ANI quoted Rajawat as saying.

File image of protests against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases. Reuters

File image of protests against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases. Reuters

The Kathua chief judicial magistrate will be committing one of the charge sheets, in which seven people have been named, to the sessions court for trial whereas for the accused juvenile, trial will be held under the CJM as it is the designated court under the Juvenile Justice Act, according to officials.

The trial in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case begins on Monday against eight accused who allegedly held an eight-year-old girl in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

The accused include a juvenile against whom a separate charge sheet was filed.

The chief judicial magistrate of Kathua will be committing one of the charge sheets, in which seven people have been named, to the sessions court for trial as mandated under the law. The chief judicial magistrate will, however, hold the trial for the juvenile as it is the designated court under the juvenile act, according to officials.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive case, a move being seen as made to ensure "neutrality" in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case.

The trial is expected to go smoothly after the Jammu Bar association as well as the Kathua Bar received a rap on the kuckles by the Supreme Court on 13 April as the apex court took a strong note of some lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the case.

The Supreme Court initiated a case on its own record saying such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice".

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud was also critical of the Jammu High Court Bar Association, which had passed a resolution not to attend the courts saying "it is the duty of the bar association as a collective body and they cannot obstruct the process of law".

According to the charge sheets filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the Bakerwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.

It lists the caretaker of 'Devisthan', a small temple, in a village in Kathua, about 90 kilometres from Jammu, as the main conspirator behind the crime.

Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram's nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias "Shamma".

The charge sheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

All eight are under arrest.

The crime branch will also be handing over the notices issued to the Jammu Bar Council as well as Kathua Bar Council for appearing before the Supreme Court on 19 April.

The Bar Association of Kathua has already retracted from its earlier statement of providing legal assistance free of cost to the accused and said “after going through the charge sheet presented by the crime branch (against the accused in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate on 9 April) it is revealed that the allegations against the accused persons are very grave and as such this case is to be dealt with in a professional way.

"As such, we have withdrawn our offer to contest the case free of cost. Accused are free to engage any individual advocate and exercise their respective rights of defence in the court. It is for any individual advocate to accept the brief and the bar association will not come in the way of defence nor the bar association will hamper the prosecution," President of BAK Kirty Bhushan Mahajan had said in a seven page statement on Saturday.

Members of the same association had blocked the way of crime branch personnel from submitting the charge sheet before the chief judicial magistrate for six hours forcing the police to present it at the house of the magistrate.

Police have already registered a case against lawyers for obstructing public servants from performing their duty.

The Jammu Bar association, which was left red-faced after the Supreme Court's observation, attempted to put a brave face saying they had full faith in the apex court and said their main demand was for shifting of illegally settled Rohingyas.

It denounced the attempts made by certain quarters for making wrongful attempts to project the association as "pro-rapist" or "anti-national".

The association today fielded a senior woman advocate Surinder Kour who said "we are now satisfied that the case has reached the Supreme Court and we are satisfied that justice will be delivered to the minor girl."

JHCBA is on strike since 4 April and sponsored a general strike on 11 April in Jammu to press for its demands including for according district status to Nowshera sub division in Rajouri district.

"We included the demand for CBI probe into the Kathua rape and murder at the request of civil society," Kour said and accused the state government of forcing them into agitation by "giving no response to our concerns despite repeated memorandums and statements."

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Apr 16, 2018 17:15 PM

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