Kathua rape case: Supreme Court directs Bar Council to submit report on conduct of Jammu lawyers by 24 April

The Supreme Court has directed the Bar Council of India to submit its panel's report over the conduct of lawyers from Jammu High Court Bar Association and other local associations over the Kathua rape case by 24 April.

According to a tweet from LiveLaw reporter @Prabhati_Mishra, the court also postponed the hearing of the suo motu petition over the conduct of Jammu lawyers to 26 April.

 Kathua rape case: Supreme Court directs Bar Council to submit report on conduct of Jammu lawyers by 24 April

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

As Firstpost had reported earlier, the Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) had gone on a four-day strike initially on 4 April in support of four demands, which included clarity from the government on tribal affairs and district status to Nowshehra sub-division in Rajouri district while also seeking a transfer of the Kathua rape and murder case to the CBI. It later extended the strike until 17 April.

The JHCBA also sponsored a general strike in Jammu on 11 April alleging the police was targeting the Dogra Hindu community by filing a chargesheet against a few members of the community. However, after facing severe criticism from various quarters, the JHCBA and other local bar associations resumed work on 12 April.

The Bar Association of Jammu had on 13 April said that it was extending its strike till 17 April against the "growing illegal presence of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals," while alleging that its agitation for a CBI probe into the Kathua rape-cum-murder case was wrongly being portrayed as "communal".

Then on 15 April, the BCI asked the Jammu and Kathua Bar Associations to call off their strike and decided to send a five-member team headed by a former high court chief justice to investigate the alleged incident of misconduct on part of the lawyers there in connection with the Kathua rape-murder case. The Jammu lawyers resumed work on 16 April.

Incidentally, the defendant's lawyer in the Kathua rape and murder case, Deepika Rajawat had earlier complained of threats and that her life was in danger, seeking intervention from the apex court.

In a related incident, silent protests were held on Tuesday, by a section of lawyers from an organisation named 'Lawyers for Democracy and Rule of Law', who walked from the Supreme Court of India to the office of the Bar Council of India.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 12:31:07 IST