Protect victim’s kin, lawyer, says SC
Ms. Jaising said the atmosphere was so “polarised” that a fair trial would be impossible in Jammu. She clarified that the family only wanted the trial in Chandigarh. The J&K Crime Branch team should continue to investigate the case. “In my career, I have never seen a State so supportive. The police have done a good job. All the accused have been forensically and physically identified. This is the kind of investigation that they want to derail.”
State counsel Soyaib Alam submitted that the State had “no problem” in providing security. “Five policemen are already with the family, who are moving up the mountains. We will provide adequate security to the family. We have no problem with providing security for their lawyer as well,” Mr. Alam submitted.
The court asked the J&K government to consider the security of the juvenile accused in the case, now lodged in a juvenile home.
“We have asked for this because it was on his testimony that the entire case turned,” Ms. Jaising submitted.
Obstruction by lawyers
Last week, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of alleged efforts by local lawyers to obstruct the filing of the chargesheet in the case. The High Court Bar Association at Jammu had even gone on a strike against filing the chargesheet.
Chief Justice Misra had said it was the duty of a lawyer to stand in support of the litigant and not engage in activities to obstruct justice. “Any obstruction affects the dispensation of justice,” Chief Justice Misra said.
The Kathua crime has shocked the conscience of the nation owing to the brutal nature of the crime on a child. The victim had been missing since January 10. Her mutilated body was found on January 17, bearing injuries suggesting gang rape.