Kathua case: Supreme Court stays proceedings before Juvenile Justice Board against one accused
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Kathua case: Supreme Court stays proceedings before Juvenile Justice Board against one accused

The stay order came in a plea filed by Jammu & Kashmir.

Shruti Mahajan

In the case concerning the 2018 rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua, the Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings against one accused before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Ajay Rastogi, and V Ramasubramanian directed for a stay on the proceedings against the accused - alleged to be a juvenile - that were underway before the Juvenile Justice Board.

This stay came in a plea filed by the Jammu & Kashmir administration, which claimed that the Jammu & Kashmir High Court erred in affirming the order of the trial court which found the main accused to be a juvenile.

Senior Counsel PS Patwalia, arguing for J&K, told the Court that the High Court erred to the extent that it failed to consider the official records of the accused while determining his date of birth recorded in official documents.

Further, it was argued that the Supreme Court had already issued notice to the accused in the matter and was thus, seized of the matter. Despite the same, the Juvenile Justice Board proceeded with the proceedings before it and therefore, the same needed to be stayed.

The Apex Court has now stayed the proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board and will hear the matter next on March 16.

The case pertains to the rape and murder of an 8-year-old child belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal community. The victim was found dead on January 17, 2018. Owing to the sensitivity of the case, the Supreme Court had in May 2018, transferred the trial to Pathankot.

The trial court in Pathankot had convicted 6 out of the 7 accused in the case and acquitted one, giving him the benefit of the doubt. The three main accused were sentenced to life, while the three policemen accused of destroying evidence in the case were sentenced to a term of five years' imprisonment.

[Read Order]

J&K vs Shubhan Sangra (Kathua case) - Feb 7.pdf
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