Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hand over the investigations into the horrific rape-and-murder of a minor to the CBI.

"We are not seeking transfer of investigation". The top judge insisted that there was no allegation against the investigation process.

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The father of the eight-year-old Kathua victim who was allegedly drugged, tortured, and gangraped in a village temple for a week in January 2018, had approached the Supreme Court today seeking transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir.

"In the absence of any allegation, why should we enter into this as to who should investigate", a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said, adding that it was "the primary duty of the state police to investigate a case". The lawyer insisted that the family does not wish any transfer of investigations. "The issue is that the atmosphere is not conducive (at Kathua) for fair trial and dispensation of justice", she said. He said that intentions of the prosecuting agency have been exposed as copies of the charge sheet were not provided to the accused so far. Every accused has been identified.

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Alleging further professional misconduct, the memorandum alleged that BS Salathia, the president of the Jammu Bar Association, also threatened Deepika Singh Rajawat, the victim's lawyer, for pursuing the case. The protesters said that the office-bearers and members of the Jammu Bar Association "opposed and obstructed the filing of chargesheet against the accused in the case". He also had a list of 16 points that he presented to the bench but were not considered. Apart from many things, it also includes questions like "How many children the parents of this deceased girl have other than the deceased girl?"

The Supreme Court has chose to hear the plea of Kathua rape victim's father seeking safety and security of his family members and shifting of trial from Jammu and Kashmir to Chandigarh at 1400 hrs on Monday. The accused also demanded that a Narco test be conducted on them to "bring out the truth". "Being the member of a certain religious group does not allow anyone to infringe upon the rights of others", she said.

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The minor girl, aged about eight years, was abducted, raped and murdered in the Kathua district of Jammu region in January this year.

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