Act Against Lawyers Who Obstructed Justice In Kathua Case, Top Court Told

Act Against Lawyers Who Obstructed Justice In Kathua Case, Top Court Told

NEW DELHI:  A group of Supreme Court lawyers today requested the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to take note of the conduct of lawyers who tried to obstruct the filing of achargesheet in rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua.

Lawyers of the bar at Kathua and Jammu are obstructing the judicial process in favour of the accused, Advocate PV Dinesh told a bench headed by CJI Justice Dipak Misra.

The court asked the lawyer to file something on record for it to act.

"We have nothing on record. You file something on record. We will hear," said the CJI.

Earlier this week, despite a huge security presence at the court of the chief judicial magistrate, lawyers belonging to the Kathua bar association protested on the court premises and stopped Crime Branch officials from entering the court for hours.

Later, after additional security was sent in, the Crime Branch officials filed a chargesheet against seven of the eight accused in the case that also allegedly involves a juvenile.  Among them are two special police officers and two policemen accused of destroying evidence.

The Kathua bar association has been backing demands made by a local group called the Hindu Ekta Manch that has been opposing the investigations by the Crime Branch calling it "biased" and demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Jammu Bar association has supported the demand.

The Crime Branch investigation is being monitored by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The police have lodged a case against the lawyers for obstructing Crime Branch officials from doing their duty. No arrest has been made so far.

The eight-year-old girl's body was recovered from a forest in Kathua on January 18, a week after she disappeared while herding horses.
The Crime Branch says she was held captive at a place of worship, drugged and raped before she was murdered.