Supreme Court stays trial in Kathua gang-rape, murder case 

Apex court to hear on May 7 the plea for transfer of the trial outside Jammu and Kashmir to Chandigarh; Mehbooba government opposes the transfer of the trial

Published: 28th April 2018 02:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2018 03:04 AM   |  A+A-

The Kathua gang-rape and murder of a minor girl led to massive protests throughout the country | Express

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the trial in the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl from the Bakarwal tribe in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the accused to respond to a plea for the hearings in the case to be transferred out of the state to Chandigarh.Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra stayed the trial which was scheduled for hearing in a court in Kathua town on Saturday. 

The apex court said it would hear on May 7 the plea for transfer of the trial.The Jammu and Kashmir government opposes the transfer of the trial saying that it had a different penal code and transfer of the trial would pose an inconvenience for the witnesses.Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre, said the government was ready to provide any assistance if required but the call has to be taken by the Mehbooba government.

The child was abducted from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.During the hearing, the court witnessed heated exchanges between senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for the victim’s family, and advocate Harvinder Chaudhary, who was representing the seven accused of the gang-rape and murder of the child.Advocate Jaising said the case should be transferred to Chandigarh due to its proximity to Kathua and the incidents of obstruction of and protests against the police Crime Branch personnel by local lawyers. 

She added that attempts were made to intimidate the presiding judge of the court as is evident in the affidavit of the Jammu and Kashmir government.On the other hand, Chaudhary said his clients do not have faith in the police investigation and the probe should go to the Central Bureau of Investigation. He alleged that the J&K police were hand-in-glove with vested interests to falsely implicate the accused.

“The accused who are father and son have been falsely implicated in the case. The real culprit has not been caught. We are ready for narco-analysis. A tainted police official is involved in the probe. We are questioning the validity of the probe. There will be great injustice to us. Everything should be highlighted,” Chaudhary said.

J&K BJP mulls action against Lal Singh
Srinagar: As former J&K Forest Minister Lal Singh is turning out to be an embarrassment for refusing to toe the party line in the Kathua case, the BJP is contemplating to act against him and apprised the party high command of his “defiance”. A senior BJP leader said, “In defiance of party, he is holding roadshows and rallies in Jammu. The party has nothing to do with these rallies and he has not got party’s support for it.” “The party is going to take a call on him after getting the green signal from party high command.” Lal Singh and BJP minister Chander Prakash Ganga were forced to resign from the cabinet. Fayaz wani

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