The court order came on the eight-year-old girl's father's plea who sought transfer of the trial in the case from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir to Chandigarh and protection to the family in the face of threats. It will hear the matter next on April 27.
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.
The apex court had said that it is a settled law that a lawyer who appears for a victim or accused can not be prevented by any bar association or group of lawyers, for it is his duty to appear in support of his client.
The bench made it clear that it would confine itself only to the safety and security aspect at the moment.
Ahmed, a non-affiliated member who wanted the United Kingdom government to take up the issue of self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the northeast, mentioned the Kathua rape case while asking how Britain could help bring her assailants and those in other cases to justice. "DNA samples have been matched", the lawyer said, adding that she hailed the state police. However there is an attempt to derail it, she also said. Their trial began at the District and Sessions Court in Jammu's Kathua on Monday.
According to the chargesheets filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic community from the area. The chargesheet the Crime Branch filed against eight accused, including a juvenile, revealed sordid details of the crime. "Sanji Ram, the caretaker of "Devisthan", a small temple in a village in Kathua, as the main conspirator behind the crime", chargesheet reads. Her body was found dumped in the adjoining forest area on January 17. The minor was kept sedated and sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, revealed the chargesheet. "I can be raped or murdered any day".