Lawyer defending the accused in Kathua rape-murder case appointed as additional advocate general

Srinagar: Defence lawyer Aseem Sawhney has been appointed as additional advocate general in the Kathua rape and murder case by the law department.

The lawyer is pleading the case of one of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. He has previously served as deputy advocate general in the J&K high court in Jammu.

Earlier, The Supreme Court had ordered the transfer of the Kathua gang-rape and murder case accused from Kathua prison in Jammu district to Gurdaspur district jail in Punjab.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the Jammu and Kashmir Police to file a supplementary charge sheet in the case within eight weeks.

The apex court granted liberty to the litigants of the case to move Punjab and Haryana High Court in case they felt aggrieved by the trails court orders.

The bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, directed the Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the trail judge and the Special Public Prosecutor of the case respectively.

“The Jammu and Kashmir government shall ensure that the family of the accused is allowed to meet accused at Gurdaspur jail at its expenses,” the top court said.

The court was hearing the matter relating to the gangrape and murder of an eight-year old girl, belonging to a minority nomadic community, who had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10.

Her body was found in the same area a week later. On June 7, 2018, the district and sessions court had framed charges against seven of the eight accused in the case.

The eighth accused in the case is a juvenile.

The trial in the case began on May 31 with the seven accused being produced before the district and sessions judge after the Supreme Court shifted the hearing outside Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the 15-page chargesheet of the Jammu and Kashmir’s Crime Branch, the girl from a minority nomadic community was kidnapped on 10 January and allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. She was kept sedated for four days before being bludgeoned to death. Her body was found four days after she went missing.

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