Srinagar, Apr 16: Terming the actions of the Bar Associations of Kathua and Jammu as “very sensitive and serious”, the Bar Council of India is visiting Jammu to draft a report for the Supreme Court, a statement issued by the Bar Council said.
The Council has asked the two Bar Associations to call off their strike and resume the routine work from today, Monday.
The Committee visiting Jammu and Kathua will be headed by former Chief Justice of High Court Justice Tarun Agarwal with S Prabakaran, Rameshchandra, G Shah (co-chairman BCI), Razia Beg (former Chair Person of BCI) and Naresh Dixit of Patana High Court as members.
“The Committee will visit Jammu, Kathua and other places in order to find out the truth, it will contact all the concerned including Members and Office Bearers of concerned Bar Associations and also the relatives of the victim,” the Council state in a statement. “The Council also requested the Committee to submit its report t the earliest. The office was directed to make a request to the Advocate on Record (AoR) in Supreme Court to pray for a short adjournment so that the report of the Committee could be placed before the court.”
The Council has directed the striking Bars to have an emergent meeting on Monday and call off their strikes. “The Council has directed the Bar Associations and Hon’ble Members of the Bar to maintain peace in the area and to extend their full cooperation to the visiting team on 20.4.2018,” the statement added.
The two Bar Associations’ were in news for obstructing the routine process of justice. While the Kathua Bar prevented the Crime Branch sleuths from submitting the charge-sheet against the persons accused in the Asifa kidnapping, gang-rape and murder case, the Jammu Bar sponsored and implemented a strike on April 11. Both the Associations have been vocal in demanding the investigations of the case by the CBI.
One of the key investigators of the case DySP Shwetambri Sharma, who visited the Devasthan and collected the crucial evidence has also accused the lawyers of obstructing the team. “During the hearing of a bail petition, which was subsequently dismissed, we entered the court to make relevant arguments,” the lady officer was quoted saying. “But, instead of arguing as defence lawyers, a crowd of 10 to 20 lawyers held demonstrations. They insisted we name the accused, knowing well that we were barred. We repeatedly faced a hostile crowd outside the courts. We did nothing but to request the SHO to file an FIR. When he didn’t, we approached the district magistrate through the head of our SIT. There was anarchy and intimidation all around.”