BCI fully endorses civil society demand for CBI probe into Rassana case

Lays stress on verifying credentials of certain persons
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 27: Fully endorsing the viewpoint of Jammu civil society and Bar Associations of Jammu and Kathua, a committee of the Bar Council of India (BCI) has put sufficient weight behind demand of CBI probe into rape and murder of 8 year old girl in Rassana area of Kathua. Moreover, the committee has laid stress on verifying the credentials of certain persons, who were at the forefront during the agitation over the issue.
In its 16-pages report, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the five-member committee of the Bar Council of India headed by Justice Tarun Agarwal, former Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, said that there was unanimous view of the J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu, Kathua Bar Association and Jammu civil society that alleged rape and murder of 8 years old girl should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) rather than by the State Crime Branch.
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Unlike reported in a section of media, the lawyers fraternity was not siding with the accused in rape and murder case but was only asking for a fair investigation by the CBI as they had no faith with the Crime Branch inasmuch as the Investigating Officer had a tainted record, the report said, adding the Jammu civil society was concerned that the Crime Branch had conducted the investigation in a shoddy manner and justice can be done in the case only when investigation was carried out by the CBI.
“The demand for CBI inquiry by the public, members of the civil society and by Jammu and Kathua Bar Associations appears to be justifiable”, the committee has stated in the report, which has also been placed before the Supreme Court.
The Bar Council of India committee has also laid stress on verifying the credentials of certain persons who were spearheading the agitation over the rape and murder of 8 year old girl. “One Talib Hussain, who claims to be an activist for the tribals, stated during interaction with the committee members that he was satisfied with the charge-sheet filed by the Crime Branch”, the report said, adding “at this stage, the committee may point out that a number of documents were provided which indicated that a criminal case is pending against him. Thus, his credentials are required to be verified”.
Shockingly, the State Police has yet not started any exercise on the serious observations of the Bar Council of India committee despite the fact that role played by certain persons following the heinous incident of Rassana was only aimed at creating wedge between different sections of the society for their ulterior motives.
Stating that media had misreported the entire episode especially relating to the conduct of the advocates of Kathua Bar Association and J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu, the report said, “the members of the Kathua Bar Association at no point of time restricted any official of the Crime Branch from filing the report before the appropriate court”, adding “no member of the Kathua Bar had torn or snatched any document of the final report from the Crime Branch”.
They were only raising slogans demanding the Crime Branch to go back and further demanding the investigation to be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the report further said.
“We have perused the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Kathua dated April 9, 2018 and we find that the officer has reported that all the accused were brought in custody but because of massive and intense protest by the lawyers of Bar Association Kathua in the premises of the court the accused could not be produced but the final report was filed”, the committee members said, adding “the Magistrate has reported that on the same day the accused were produced at his residence”.
It has also been mentioned in the report that at no point of time the members of the J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu restrained any advocate for the deceased family from appearing before the High Court.