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BCI team endorses demand for transferring Kathua rape-murder case to CBI

The BCI report said that the demand for CBI inquiry by the public, civil society, JHCBA and KBA appears to be justified

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

The Bar Council of India (BCI) committee has endorsed the demand for transferring to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the rape-murder case of a minor girl in Kathua and has also accused the media of creating an impression as if the lawyers of Kathua and Jammu were siding with the alleged rapists.

The 5-member BCI team led by Justice Tarun Agarwala, former chief justice of Meghalaya High Court, has made the observation in its 16-page report. The Supreme Court had on 13 April directed the Bar Council of India to submit its panel’s report over the conduct of lawyers from Jammu High Court Bar Association and other local associations over the Kathua case.

Other members of the BCI team that visited the scene of the alleged crime in the Rasana village and also met the district judge and chief judicial magistrate of Kathua, relatives of the victim, members of the civil society and members of the Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) and Kathua Bar Association (KBA) included S Prabhakaran, co-chairman of the BCI, Ramesh Chander G  Shah, co-chairman of BCI, Naresh Dixit, Advocate, Patna High Court and Mrs.Razia Beg, member of the Uttrakhand State Bar Council.

The BCI report has held the media responsible for misrepresenting the entire episode, especially relating to the conduct of lawyers of the KBA. The media also did not report the press release of JHCBA that they were demanding fair investigation by the CBI.

The BCI report said that the “demand for CBI inquiry by the public, civil society, JHCBA and KBA appears to be justified”.

The report gave a clean chit to the KBA by pointing out that “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”. “No member of the Kathua Bar Association had torn or snatched any document of the final report”. The KBA members had only raised slogans against the crime branch and in favour of CBI investigation.

The BCI team also rejected the reports that a woman lawyer, Dipika Singh Rajawat, who appeared in the court on 9 and 11 April on behalf of the biological father of the victim, was restrained by the JHCBA from appearing before the High Court.