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Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak

17 April 2018

The plea asks that the case be heard in Chandigarh rather than in J&K.

It was reported that Rajawat, who is the lawyer for the victim's family in trial court, has filed a petition on her own name seeking protection as she was receiving threats for representing the affected family.

The minor girl, aged about eight years, was abducted, raped and murdered in the Kathua district of Jammu region in January this year.

Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat told the court that she had been threatened with rape and death for taking up the case.

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. He added, "we are depending on information from social media.We are handicapped". "We have asked for Chandigarh due to its proximity to Jammu, but it is upto Your Lordships", said Jaising.

Indira Jaising, senior counsel for the petitioner, submitted that a fair trial is an inseparable facet of Article 21 of the Constitution, and there is an apprehension in the mind of the petitioner, the biological father of the victim, that there would be no fair trial inasmuch as there has been protest by the members of the Bar and further there may be issues relating to witness protection.

The bench said those policemen providing security to the victim's family and others will be in plain clothes. The court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused, and posted the case to April 28, Ankur Sharma, counsel for accused, said. Police investigations revealed she was held captive inside a temple, sedated and repeatedly raped before her murder. The accused are set to be ready for narco tests as well.

"Be that as it may, we do not intend to enter into this sphere (transfer of the case to CBI) at this stage", the bench said, noting the submission of the victim's father. Her body was found in the same area a week later.

Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak