SC to consider Kathua rape suspect's plea for CBI probe

Death penalty for child rape Cabinet to bring new law

Appearing for the father of the eight-year-old girl who was gangraped and murdered in Kathua in January, Advocate Indira Jaising had last week said the trial in the case should be transferred to Chandigarh as "the atmosphere" in Kathua "is highly polarised" and hence "a fair trial will not be possible" there.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the plea of the accused, that they be impleaded as parties to the petition filed by the victim's father. CJI assured the victims that while transferring probe to another agency, courts are circumspect and will only do so if there is delay in filing charge sheet or any manifest error in the conduct of probe, both which have not been made out in the case so far.

The apex court has already asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the family of the victim and their lawyer as well as family friends assisting them in the case.

The report said the local lawyers' body had neither obstructed the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir police from filing the charge sheet in the court, nor had the lawyers obstructed advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who is representing the victim's family, from appearing in the matter before the high court there.




The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Special Investigation Team of the state police were not allowed to file the chargesheet in the Kathua gangrape and murder case by protesting lawyers - a claim that has been rejected by the Kathua Bar Association.

"Let us not get into what the Bar Council says".

Raising a question mark on the legitimacy of the BCI Committee, the Forum said that it was not a fact-finding mission created by or under direction from the Hon'ble Apex Court but was formed by the BCI on its own when put to notice by the top court for having failed to take cognizance of illegal activities of lawyers in Jammu and Kathua. The bench said that any fault by lawyers will be dealt separately.

"The allegations pertaining to the support by government officials to the accused Sanjhi Ram, merely because he was a retired revenue official, upon which the petitioner apprehends that the trial will not be conducted in a fair and transparent manner is false and is denied", the affidavit said. The association contended that the SIT filed the chargesheet in the court of the CJM, Kathua on April 9 itself and that no one prevented it from doing so. The bench said it could examine the prospect of fast-tracking the trial and oversee the progress of the trial. The two accused have opposed the father's plea. "Let's focus on the victim".

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