JAMMU, Apr 19: Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said today that the administration of justice can’t be interfered with and asked the Jammu High Court Bar Association, Bar Council of India and others to file their affidavits by April 24 and listed the matter for hearing in Kathua gang rape and murder case on April 26.
Senior Advocate Gourav Pachnanda, appearing for J&K High Court (J&K Bar Council) stated “we have made some preliminary enquiry and sought time to file an affidavit of the Registrar General to place the details before the Supreme Court.”
Senior Advocates Bimal Roy Jad and Vikas Singh appeared before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on behalf of Jammu High Court Bar Association.
The Supreme Court granted three days time for Jammu High Court Bar Association, Bar Council of India, High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Kathua Bar Associate to file affidavit and adjourned the case for April 26.
The Jammu High Court Bar Association told the Supreme Court that it did not support lawyers’ protest in connection with the Kathua gang rape and murder case.
The Bar Council of India told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that they have constituted a team, headed by a former High Court judge, which will visit Kathua to assess the situation relating to lawyers protest.
Meanwhile, the Kathua District Bar Association told the bench, comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that they have already withdrawn the strike on April 12 itself.
Advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the State opposed the tagging of plea filed by the victim’s father, who is seeking the transfer of case from Kathua to Chandigarh, with the suo moto matter related to lawyers’ protest there.
The Apex Court had on April 13 took serious note of lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the Kathua gang rape and murder case and initiated a case on its own accord, saying such impeding of the process of law “affects the delivery of justice”.
The top court had said that lawyers’ bodies have solemn duty to not obstruct advocates representing the accused or the victims’ family in the courts.
The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rassana village in Kathua, 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 charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district earlier this week.
The charge sheet revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a place of worship before being killed.
Jammu has been on tenterhooks since the brutal incident. The bar associations have been opposing the action against the accused, alleging that the minority Dogras were being targeted.
Lawyers took to the streets shouting slogans and trying to block the road outside the court where the charge sheets have been filed.