Kathua case: SC orders police protection for victim’s family, lawyer; issues notice

File photo of people protesting in Delhi against the brutal rape and murder of an 8 year old child in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the J&K govt to provide protection to the Kathua victim’s family members and their lawyers, and sought J&K govt’s reply on plea to shift the trial out of the state

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for the victim's father in the Kathua alleged rape and murder case, on Monday told the Supreme Court that while the Jammu and Kashmir state police had done a good job investigating the brutal case of rape and murder of an 8-year-old Bakerwal child, the atmosphere in Kathua was not conducive for a fair trial, the atmosphere is highly polarised,” reported ANI News.

The petitioner, ie the victim’s father, had approached the Supreme Court on Monday asking that the case and trial in ‘State v. Sanji Ram and others’ be shifted from Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir to a court of competent jurisdiction at Chandigarh. The victim’s father had also asked the apex court for adequate security for family members of the victim, the local advocate Ms Deepika Singh Rajawat and her family members and advocate Talib Hussain. Rajawat has said publicly that she is being threatened for taking up the case.

The victim’s father has also asked Supreme Court to ensure that no unauthorised person is allowed to meet the juvenile accused in the case, whether at the juvenile home or in court, and asked the court to ensure the investigation is concluded expeditiously and in a fair and transparent manner.

According to ANI, the Supreme Court directed the Jammu and Kashmir state government to provide police protection to the victim's family members and lawyers, named above, representing them. The apex court also issued notice to the J&K government and sought a reply on the plea by the victim's father to shift the Kathua rape and murder case out of the state.

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