“Obstruction of process of law and delivery of justice, and that too by lawyers cannot be condoned and is unethical. Access to justice cannot be impeded by lawyers”
“It is impermissible under law and ethics to prevent filing of chargesheet or oppose representation of victim's family by lawyer. Every party before any court is entitled to engage a lawyer and if advocates oppose this principle, then it would be destructive of justice dispensation system”.
Taking serious note of attempts by lawyers to prevent filing of chargesheet in the case of rape and murder of a 8-year-old girl in Kathua, the Supreme Court today took 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”.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, justices D Y Chandrachud and A M Khanwilkar also took serious note of attempts by advocates to prevent the lady lawyer representing the victims from appearing in the court.
The court also issued notice to the Bar Council of India and Bar Associations
Responses of all parties have been sought by April 19.
The issue was brought to the attention of the bench by a group of Supreme Court lawyers who had urged the bench to take suo motu cognizance of the issue during the mentioning hour in the morning .
The bench which passed the order in the afternoon had asked the lawyers to bring some material before the court which was done in the form of a two page description of the incident.
The plea filed latger urged that the “instant petition may kindly be taken on board and suo-moto action may kindly be taken in the matter and the State of Jammu and Kashmir may be directed to file a detailed report in the matter as urgently as possible. The counsel appearing on behalf of the victim family may kindly be accorded adequate and urgent protection and also be permitted to file a report before this court”.
Standing counsel for Jammu and Kashmir M Shoeb Alam initially submitted that the intervention of the apex court was not needed at this juncture as state police has already filed FIR against some lawyer for attempting to prevent police from filing charge sheet.
Jammu and Kashmir and Kathua Bar lawyers had prevented the Crime Branch from filing chargesheet against 7 accused in the gangrape and murder case.
In the petition it was averred that the source of information to this petition is based on the media reports pertaining to the Kathua Rape Case, wherein eight year old girl child has been brutally raped and murdered in Rasana Village in District Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also based on the information received from the lawyers fighting for the cause of justice on behalf of the deceased in such gory incident.
"That the Petitioners herein are shocked to see the media reports indicating that when the local police tried to file charge sheet on Monday against seven of eight accused in the murder and rape of eight year girl child, several lawyers of the Bar Association of the learned Magistrate Court protested outside the Court and tried to stop the Crime Branch from filing charge sheet in the matter. Later it has been widely reported by the media that many members of Bar Association of J& K have supported the lawyers who were opposing the filing of Charge Sheet", states the petition
Read the Order and Petition here