“Rule Of Law Stands On Highest Pedestal” Says SC Seeking Affidavits From Bar Bodies On Kathua Protests
We are only concerned with fair trial. They went on strike. That is wrong. Rule of law stands on the highest pedestal. Not just this case..We are concerned with other cases too. This should not happen in any case….All of you file affidavits”, CJI Misra to Bar Bodies
Taking strong note of conduct of lawyers in the Kathua rape and murder case trial including obstruction, the Supreme Court today said behavior, like calling of strike and obstructing lawyers, will not be tolerated as “rule of law stands on the highest pedestal”.
Jammu High Court Bar Association, Kathua Bar association and Bar Council of India has been asked by a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilar and D Y Chandrachud to file affidavits in three days and the matter fixed for further hearing on April 26.
Angry at attempts by lawyers to prevent filing of chargesheet 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”.
At the outset, senior advocate Vikas Sigh appearing for J&K High Court Bar Association said the “lawyer for victim’s family (Deepika Singh Rajawat) was obstructed when she was going to appear in some other case as that day this case was not even listed. It is wrong to say that she was prevented from appearing in this case”
Then the CJI retorted: “Don’t go into all that ..we are only concerned with fair trial. They went on strike. That is wrong. Rule of law stands on the highest pedestal. Not just this case..We are concerned with other cases too. This should not happen in any case….All of you file affidavits”
Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra who was present in the court said It had formed a five-member committee to visit Jammu and Kathua and it will submit a factual report as to what exactly had happened
“Bar Council of India, High Court Bar Association, and Kathua Bar Association has entered appearance. Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra says BCI has formed a committee with a retired judge of the High Court as its head. They shall go to Jammu and Kathua and submit a report within three days. Senior advocate Vikas Singh representing J&K High Court Bar Association is also allowed to file a reply within three days. Kathua Bar Association meanwhile says it has withdrawn the strike on April 12. The matter be listed again on April 26 for futher monitoring of the situation”
The bench had on April 13 also taken 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 Council of Jammu and Kashmir.
The issue had been brought to the attention of the bench by a group of Supreme Court lawyers through advocate P V Dinesh. The CJI bench today directed too all parties that the copy of their affidavit shall be handed over to advocate Dinesh.