The Supreme Court on Friday directed members of the bar not to obstruct judicial proceedings in the Kathua gang rape and murder case in Jammu and Kashmir as it took note of lawyers obstructing the victim’s counsel from appearing in court.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud sought responses from the Bar Council of India, state bar council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua district bar association by April 19.
The apex court agreed to take suo motu cognisance of the case after several lawyers who had mentioned the matter before it came out with materials about the incident.
Earlier in the day, the top court had asked a lawyer to bring materials on record to take judicial note of a strike call given by Kathua and Jammu and Kashmir bar associations in relation to the gang rape and killing of the eight-year-old girl in Jammu region.
Advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for Jammu and Kashmir, said that the police has filed the chargesheet before the magistrate on Thursday.
Alam, who was called to the CJI court, opposed the CBI probe as demanded by some apex court lawyers and said that thorough investigations were being carried out by the state crime branch.
He said that it is already a settled law that investigation cannot be transferred to CBI after the chargesheet has been filed in the court.
“Police team was heckled by the lawyers and prevented from submitting the charge sheet before the CJM court in Kathua,” Alam said.
He said that subsequently the police had to produce the accused in the case and submit the charge sheet at the residence of the magistrate.
The minor victim had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir on January 10.
Her body was found in the same area a week later.
The Crime Branch of police which probed the case filed a main chargesheet against seven persons and a separate chargesheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district earlier this week.
The chargesheet revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a place of worship before being killed.