The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Sunday asked the bar associations of Kathua and Jammu to call off their strike and constituted a five-member committee headed by a former High Court Chief Justice to inquire into alleged misconduct by the lawyers there in connection with the Kathua rape and murder case.
The decision was taken at the Council’s general body meeting held in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s suo motu cognisance of the issue and subsequent issuance of notices to the bar associations and the J&K government, seeking response by April 19.
On April 13, the Supreme Court took cognisance of the alleged efforts made by local lawyers to obstruct the filing of a chargesheet in the case with the intention of derailing the police investigation.
Terming the matter “very sensitive and serious”, the Council on Sunday said a committee headed by former High Court Chief Justice Tarun Agarwal and comprising two BCI co-chairmen S. Prabakaran and Rameshchandra G. Shah; former Bar Council of Uttarakhand chief Razia Beig; and Patna High Court advocate Naresh Dixit had been set up.
The committee will visit Jammu, Kathua and other places on April 20 to verify the allegations. It will interact with members and office-bearers of the bar associations concerned and also with the eight-year-old victim’s relatives.
The Council has requested the committee to submit its report at the earliest. “The office was directed to make a request to the Advocate on Record (AOR) in the Supreme Court to pray for a short adjournment, so that the report of the committee could be placed before the Court,” said a BCI statement.