Kathua gang-rape and murder: Supreme Court seeks material on strike by J&K bar body

The Supreme Court on Friday asked a lawyer to bring materials on record to take judicial note of a strike call given by Kathua and Jammu and Kashmir bar associations in relation to the Kathua gang rape case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked lawyer P V Dinesh to furnish some material with regard to the actions of the bar bodies for enabling it to take suo motu judicial note of the strike call. Dinesh referred to the decisions of the local bar that had allegedly come in support of the people who had allegedly gang-raped and killed the minor in Kathua.

The lawyer submitted and urged that the apex court should take note of bar’s actions and issue directions to them and the Bar Council of India to ensure that the rule of law prevails. The bench assured the lawyer that it would consider the matter if adequate material is brought before it.

An eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir on 10 January. Her body was recovered in the same area a week later. The state police Crime Branch, which probed the case, filed the main charge sheet against seven accused persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district earlier this week. The charge sheet revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a temple before being killed.

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