Bar Council of India probe panel nixes charges against Jammu lawyers


Kathua rape-murder case

New Delhi, An inquiry panel of the Bar Council of India on Thursday in the Supreme Court refuted allegations that lawyers of the Jammu bar had allegedly threatened the Kathua victim's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat or prevented police from filing the charge sheet. The corpse of the minor girl was found in the Kathua forests in mid-January, a week after her disappearance, and the case had assumed communal overtones. Senior counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association, made the submission. He informed a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, that no advocate had threatened Rajawat or stopped police from filing the charge sheet against the accused. "No lawyer or anyone else had threatened the victim's advocate and stopped the police from filing the charge sheet against the accused persons in the alleged Kathua rape and murder case," Singh submitted. The bench observed,' We are only concerned with the victim getting justice. Let us be clear and focus on investigation and the trial of the case.' Chandan Sharma, counsel for two accused -- Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra -- submitted that the investigation must be fair, transparent and judicious as it was the minimum stipulation of the rule of law. The inquiry agency, Sharma said, could not be permitted to conduct a tainted and biased probe.