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Kathua rape and murder case: Supreme Court pulls up Jammu lawyers for obstructing filing of chargesheet, wants fair trial

The lawyers insisted that they were protesting on a different issue that got mixed up with the filing of the chargesheet

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Updated: April 19, 2018 13:46 IST ]
Jammu lawyers had staged a protest against state SIT's
Image Source : PTI

Jammu lawyers had staged a protest against state SIT's probe and filing of chargesheet in the Kathua case. (File Photo) 

The Supreme Court on Thursday took strong note of protest by Jammu lawyers obstructing filing of chargesheet in the Kathua rape and murder case. The top court said that it wants a fair trial in the matter.  

"We are not concerned with anything, we are concerned with fair trial. You created a situation, police had to file the chargesheet at the residence of the magistrate," said a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.

The apex court had on April 13 took serious note of lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the Kathua rape and murder case and initiated a case on its own accord, saying such impeding of the process of law "affects the delivery of justice". 

Also read: Kathua rape victim's agony turning feeble amid communal bickering and political blame game

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

Jammu Bar Association clarifies its stand

Presenting its stand in the court, the Jammu High Court Bar Association said that it did not support the protest by some of the lawyers, adding that the strike called by them had already been withdrawn on April 12.

The lawyers insisted that they were protesting on a different issue that got mixed up with the filing of the chargesheet

"Whatever may be the background (of the protest), the resultant action was wrong," Justice Misra said as the court was told that the protesting lawyers have retreated and assured that there would be no obstruction in the trial of the rape and murder of the eight-year-old victim from the Bakerwal community in Jammu's Hiranagar area.

Fixing April 26 as the next date of hearing, the Supreme Court asked all the parties to file their response about the protest and their conduct in the court.

Jammu has been on tenterhooks since the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl. The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua, on January 10. Her body was found in a forest area a week later. 

The Jammu Bar Association has 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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