PATHANKOT: A court here, hearing the Kathua gang rape-and- murder case, today directed a jail official of Jammu and Kashmir to appear before it tomorrow after the defence lawyers moved an application seeking meeting of the accused with their relatives.
District and Sessions judge Tajwinder Singh summoned the superintendent of the Kathua Jail to appear in the court at 11 am tomorrow to help it find a way-out to ensure meeting of the accused in the case and their relatives.
The judge passed the order in response to an application moved by the lawyers of the family of one of the accused, Tilak Raj.
"We have moved an application yesterday on behalf of my client's family as they are unable to meet him due to daily trial in the case. Consensus could not be formed and accordingly the court asked the Kathua Jail superintendent to appear in person to find some way out," defence lawyer Aseem Sawhney told reporters outside the court.
He said since the accused are moved from Kathua Jail to the court on daily basis and have to leave at around 9 am in the morning, their families are unable to meet them.
"It is the fundamental right of the accused to meet his or her family members," he said.
The trial in the case began on May 31 with the seven of the eight accused being produced before the district and sessions judge after the Supreme Court transferred the case from Jammu and Kashmir to here for a fair trial following a plea by the victim's family.
While transferring the case from Kathua to Pathankot, about 30 km away, the apex court directed day-to-day in-camera trial in the case.
An eight-year-old nomadic girl was gang-raped and murdered in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January.