SC Stay on Kathua Rape-Murder Trial Not Against Victim’s Interest, Says Her Counsel


Deepika Singh Rajawat, counsel of Kathua slain girl’s family.

“The father of the victim filed an appeal requesting transfer of the trial (from Kathua) to seek a fair trial. He has done so keeping in mind the surcharged atmosphere in Kathua,” Rajawat said.

SRINAGAR — The Supreme Court’s stay on the trial court proceedings into the murder and gang-rape of eight-year-old girl at Kathua in January is not against the interest of the victim, said advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who represents the victim’s family, reports The Greater Kashmir. 

“The father of the victim filed an appeal requesting transfer of the trial (from Kathua) to seek a fair trial. He has done so keeping in mind the surcharged atmosphere in Kathua,” Rajawat said.

She said the Sureme Court stay is good and it was expected.

“Had the trial proceeded it would not have been possible to shift the case after framing of charges. The trial should be held in a peaceful environment and at a conducive place,” she said.

When asked how long it will take the trial proceedings to conclude, Rajawat said, “It is a fast track trial and I am sure in six months the trial would be concluded and the decision would have come out.”

Eminent lawyer Zaffar Shah said some vested interests are trying to push for re-opening an accomplished investigation.

“The court sensed mischief and in its wisdom considered it appropriate to stay the proceedings,” he said.

He said an innocent child’s rape and murder has brought to fore collective conscience of the world and the court has rightly recognised the “attendant sensitivities”.

“Her innocent face had moved almost every human being from east to west and north to south. Whatever the decision of the court ultimately may be but every time her picture will appear behind the piece of paper,” Shah said.

Senior advocate Syed Tassaduq Hussain termed it unfortunate that no lawyer from Kashmir volunteered to fight the case of the Kathua victim.

“I would have volunteered but now being an elderly person it was beyond my ken. Younger people should have accepted the challenge,” Tassaduq said.

“The entire Kuthua episode shows that certain agencies in Jammu acted in concert in provoking mass reaction. The whole thing was manipulated and this is why UN General Secretary expressed his disapprobation,” he said.

The Supreme Court on April 27 stayed the trial in the rape and murder of the minor in Kathua and asked the accused to respond to the plea for the transfer of trial to Chandigarh.

The court would now hear the plea for transfer of trial on May 7.

The father of the girl who had been drugged, tortured and gang-raped in a temple in Kathua for a week has approached the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir.

The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests of Kathua on January 10.

Her body was found in the same area a week later.

The Crime Branch of police, which probed the case, filed the charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district.

Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir government had opposed the transfer of the trial, saying that it had a different penal code and transfer of trial would pose inconvenience to the witnesses.
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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