Bar Council to probe lawyer’s ‘Misconduct’ in Kathua rape & Murder case

The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Sunday decided to probe the “misconduct” on part of lawyers in connection with the Kathua rape and murder case on a day Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti accepted the resignations of two BJP ministers who had participated in a rally in support of the accused.
The resignations of Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, received from BJP state chief Sat Sharma, were immediately accepted and sent to Governor NN Vohra.
The BCI decision came after its general body met in the backdrop of the apex court’s notice to it. The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the strike call in connection with the gangrape and killing of an eight-year-old girl.
BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said: “If any lawyer is found guilty, the Bar Council will go to the extent of cancelling the legal practice licence.”
Mishra said a five-member team headed by former HC Chief Justice Tarun Agarwala and comprising two co-chairmen of the council, S Prabhakaran and RG Shah, advocate Razia Begum and independent lawyer Naresh Dixit would visit the state on April 20.
The team would submit a report to the BCI, which would further submit it to the Supreme Court. “Since the case is fixed on April 19 and the team is going on April 20, we will seek two or three days’ adjournment.”
The Bar counsel, meanwhile, has asked the Jammu and Kathua Bar associations to call off their strike.
The victim had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua on January 10. Her body was found a week later. The J&K Police Crime Branch filed a chargesheet against seven persons and another against a juvenile earlier this week. It revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugg-ed and raped inside a place of worship before being killed.
The trial against the eight accused is to begin on Monday. The Kathua Chief Judicial Magistrate will be sending one chargesheet, in which seven have been named, to the sessions court. He will, however, hold the trial for the juvenile as it is a designated court. The trial is expected to go on smoothly after the Jammu and Kathua Bar associations got a rap on the knuckles by the SC, which took strong note of some lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the case.

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