Bar Council of India bails out Kathua Bar

Bar Council of India bails out Kathua Bar

Says they didn’t obstruct Crime Branch, bats for CBI probe in child''s rape and murder

Despite Kathua Bar Association admitting in a statement that it had obstructed the Crime Branch from producing the charge-sheet against the accused in Kathua rape and murder case, the Bar Council of India on Thursday told the Supreme Court that nothing of the sort had happened. What is more, the BCI also advocated the CBI probe into the case. 

The BCI report, which was filed before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said the demand of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu, and Kathua District Bar Association seeking a CBI probe in the matter "appears to be justified".

The committee, headed by former High Court judge Justice Tarun Agarwal, also said that advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who is representing the victim’s family, was not prevented or threatened by the lawyers’ body from appearing in the matter before the high court there.

It has also alleged that the media had "misrepresented" the reports.

Conclusion of the report filed in a sealed cover was read out in the court after the CJI asked senior advocate Vikas Singh, who was appearing for one of the bar bodies, to read it out.

The Supreme Court had earlier slammed  the lawyers for obstructing the legal process in the case.

However, not only Kathua Bar which claimed the obstruction of the Crime Branch in a statement,  even The  Principal District and sessions Judge Kathua, had submitted to Registrar General of the High Court that officials of  Crime Branch had to beat a hasty retreat when they had come to present charge-sheet against the accused after protests and sloganeering by lawyers.

The report submitted on March 10 stated that the accused were produced at the official residence of CJM at 8:00 PM after they could not be  produced in the Court.

“The accused seven in number were brought in custody in police vehicle, which was parked in the parking area of the court premises, but they could not be produced in the court of learned CJM, Kathua because of continued protest demonstrations by the lawyers,” the report read.

“The lawyers also remained outside the court of learned CJM Kathua, raising slogans. In view of the sensitive nature of the case, the CB officials were advised to bring the accused to the official residence of learned CJM  Kathua and at 8: 00 PM, the accused, in proper custody, were produced at the official residence of learned CJM Kathua,” the report further states.

Earlier in statement, Kathua Bar Association president Advocate Kirty  Bhushan Mahajan had admitted that they prevented the Crime Branch from filing charge-sheet.

“The agitation of the Bar proved successful and the Crime Branch was compelled to go back and the challan could not be presented in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Kathua,” reads the statement. “All the members of the Bar have strongly agitated against the presentation of the Challan by the Crime Branch in the Rasana Case”.

The BCI had sent a fact-finding team to Jammu for submitting report on the matter to the Supreme Court. The Bar Council is a statutory body representing the Bar of India.