Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak

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As per reports, Supreme Court will be hearing a plea filed by the victim's father over the transfer of case at around 2 PM today.

The Court also directed that adequate security be provided to the victim's family, lawyer Deepika S Rajawat and advocate Talib Hussain, who is assisting in the matter.

The court had said on Friday that access to justice can not be obstructed, after local lawyers tried to stop filing of the chargesheet in the case last week. He also sought safety and security from the court in his plea.

Senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for the victim's father, told a Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the state police had done a good job in carrying out a scientific investigation and arresting all the eight accused. So fair trial is impossible.

During the hearing, it was clarified that the petition was filed by the victim's father and Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur. "We are handicapped", he said.

They further said that the Jammu Bar Association had spoken "in defence of the culprits accused of heinous crimes such as rape and murder" and "pressed for transfer of the case from Crime Branch to the CBI". It will hear the matter next on April 27. "The atmosphere is highly polarised", Jaising told apex court.

The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests in Kathua, on January 10. Even as the plea was to be taken up, the trial in the Kathua rape and murder case began at principal district and sessions court in Kathua.

The child from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

In order to calm the growing criticism for the government, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not only forwarded the resignation of two BJP leaders the Governor but has also ordered the formation of a SIT and has appointed two Sikh special public prosecutors.

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