Kathua case: Constitutional concern of SC to ensure fair trial, CJI Dipak Misra
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Kathua case: Constitutional concern of SC to ensure fair trial, CJI Dipak Misra

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today, while hearing a petition regarding the Kathua rape and murder case, said that the Court’s primary concern was to ensure a fair and speedy trial.

The Court today heard the suo motu writ petition filed against the members of Kathua and Jammu High Court Bar Associations regarding obstruction of filing of chargesheet in the matter.

The counsel for the bar associations submitted that the inquiry report submitted by the Bar Council of India (BCI) found that the protests demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case were “justified”. The counsel also claimed that the media had misreported the entire episode.

However, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra reminded everyone that the main issue was justice to the victim. He said,

“Let the main issue not be missed. We’re concerned about fair trial for both the parties. Let’s not digress. It is through the Bar that a fair trial can be achieved. Let’s stick to the victim’s case.”

CJI Misra further noted that the real concern of the Court is to see that a fair trial is carried out. He stressed that it should be fair to both the accused as well as to the family members of the victim.

Speaking on the plea to transfer the case out of Jammu & Kashmir so as to ensure a fair trial, CJI Misra said that the Supreme Court will hear the same tomorrow. He further noted,

“Apart from fairness, the concept of speedy trial also gets attracted. Both the sides should be given necessary legal assistance. The primary concern of this case is fair trial, legal assistance and if necessary, transfer of case (out of Jammu and Kashmir).”

He assured Senior Counsel Indira Jaising, who is appearing for the victim, that if slightest possibility of lack of fair trial is found, the Court will transfer the case.

The case regarding demand for fair and speedy trial will come up before the Supreme Court tomorrow, whereas the matter looking into the conduct of Jammu and Kathua lawyers is listed to be heard in July.

Meanwhile, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court began hearing a petition filed seeking transfer of the investigation to the CBI yesterday. Justice Alok Aradhe issued notice in the petition, and held,

“The question of interim relief as well as question of maintainability of the writ petition shall be examined on the next date of hearing. It is made clear that the trial court shall be free to proceed ahead with the trial of the case.”

That matter will next come up for hearing on May 7.

Read the J&K High Court’s order:

Kathua-CBI-probe-HC-watermark.pdf
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Read the Supreme Court’s order:

Kathua-Suo-Motu-Writ-Order-dated-26.04.2018-watermark.pdf
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