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Kathua Case : SC Stays Proceedings Against One Accused In Juvenile Justice Board

Nilashish Chaudhary
8 Feb 2020 11:56 AM GMT
Kathua Case : SC Stays Proceedings Against One Accused In Juvenile Justice Board
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The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a stay of the proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board against one of the accused in the 2018 rape and murder case of a minor girl in Kathua. The Bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Ajay Rastogi and V Ramasubramanian agreed to consider the plea moved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration which urged that the High Court had wrongly upheld the...

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a stay of the proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board against one of the accused in the 2018 rape and murder case of a minor girl in Kathua. The Bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Ajay Rastogi and V Ramasubramanian agreed to consider the plea moved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration which urged that the High Court had wrongly upheld the trial court's finding of the main accused as a juvenile.

Appearing for the J&K administration, advocate PS Patwalia submitted that official records of the accused had not been appreciated in determining his date of birth. Patwalia also informed the court that proceedings before the Board had commenced despite the top court having already issued notice to the accused regarding the same. The court agreed with the contention that the Board could not continue with proceedings while the Supreme Court was seized of the matter, and accordingly directed a stay on the same. The matter will now come up for consideration before the apex court on March 16.

On January 17, 2018, a minor girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community was found dead in Kathua village of Jammu and Kashmir. The matter was a sensitive one as the accused claimed to commit the offence to send a message to nomadic community to leave their village. Given the nature of circumstances, the top court transferred the case to Pathankot in May 2018. There were a total of 8 accused.

On June 2019, a special court in Pathankot had convicted six out of seven accused in the case. Three of them were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the other three, police officials, were sentenced to a term of five years each. One of them was acquitted and one, the accused in the present case, is being tried as a juvenile.   

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