The lawyer for accused interfered when Indira Jaising for victim’s family was arguing and said at the top of her voice: “The accused have been falsely implicated. We are ready for narco-analysis. A tainted official is involved in the probe. We are questioning the validity of the probe.. this is injustice”.
Jaising shot back: “All this is being said for the benefit of the press who are present in the courtroom in large numbers. Your lordships must note this. Wild charges. They are asking for a CBI probe as they know that the police have and are doing a great job”.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra today stayed the trial in the sensational gangrape and murder case of a seven-year-old girl in Kathua till May 7pending the decision on transfer of trial.
The bench which today also comprised the newly sworn-in Justice Indu Malhotra and D Y Chandrachud was hearing plea filed by the victim’s family for transfer of the case outside the state, preferably to Chandigarh in the “interest of fair trial in view of obstruction by lawyers”.
The bench also said it will hear on May 7 detailed arguments for a CBI probe filed by two accused.
The CJI asked all the parties to file affidavits and counters as applicable by May 7 and said: “in the meanwhile, the trial stays”.
At the outset, senior lawyer Indira Jaising who appeared for the victim’s family said the trial may be transferred to Chandigarh due to proximity factors and said “an earlier sex scandal case also had been transferred to Chandigarh, in the same manner, considering the same factors”.
There was acrimonious scenes in the court following a verbal duel between Jaising and advocate Harwinder Choudhury who appeared for two accused who have been charge-sheeted seeking a fresh CBI probe.
Choudhury interfered when Jaising was arguing to raise her point and said at the top of her voice: “the accused have been falsely implicated. We are ready for narco analysis. A tainted official is involved in the probe. This is injustice”.
Jaising shot back: “This is ..all this is being said for the benefit of the press who are present in the courtroom your lordship must note. They are asking for a CBI probe as they know that the police have and are doing a great job”.
“Even yesterday the Bar which obstructed the victim’s family and their lawyer was celebrating on the social media that your lordship made no strong observations or reprimand them”.
In the midst of the heated exchange, the bench said it was adjourning the matter toMay 7 and said the trial is stayed.
Yesterday Chief Justice Misra had said that “ Our first concern is to ensure fair trial, protect victim's family, their lawyers, and if the situation calls for, transfer the case.if we stray and look at other issues being raised, the issue of victim goes away from the scene
Two prime accused on Wednesday moved Supreme Court opposing the plea of the victim’s father seeking transfer of trial outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Sanji Ram and Vishal Jangotra, who have been charge-sheeted have also sought transfer of probe to the CBI, besides seeking to be impleaded as parties in the petition filed by the father of the victim. They claim they were “falsely implicated” in the case.
Earlier this month, the court had ordered the police to grant security to the family, their friend and lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat. It had issued a notice to the state on the plea for transfer of the case.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir HC Bar Association had also filed an affidavit denying allegations that it obstructed Deepika Rajawat while she went to court to appear for the victim’s family
On April 18 taking strong note of conduct of lawyers in the Kathua rape and murder case trial including obstruction, the Chief Justice Misra-led bench had said behavior, like calling off strike and obstructing lawyers, will not be tolerated as “rule of law stands on the highest pedestal”.
Angry at attempts by lawyers to prevent filing of charge sheet in the case of rape and murder of a 8-year-old girl in Kathua, the bench had on April 13 taken suo motu cognizance of the matter and issued notice to Kathua Bar Association and Jammu Bar Association noting that “obstruction of delivery of justice and process of law, and that too by lawyers cannot be condoned”.