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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Court tells J&K govt to replace public prosecutor

The “conflict of interest” was exposed by the counsel of the victims during a hearing on the revision petition filed by the Army seeking closure of the case.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published: April 7, 2014 12:20:01 am

Kunan-Poshpora: Shah found to be working as standing counsel for Centre

Following a revelation that the public prosecutor in the Kunan-Poshpora mass rape case is also working as the standing counsel of the Union government, a J&K court has asked the state government to appoint a new public prosecutor in the case.

The “conflict of interest” was exposed by the counsel of the victims during a hearing on the revision petition filed by the Army seeking closure of the case. “The public prosecutor, Ghulam Mohammad Shah, has also been appointed as a central government standing counsel (CGSC) during the pendency of the revision petition,” objected advocate Parvez Imroz during the hearing. “This is in violation of the terms of engagement of CGSC which states that a standing counsel cannot appear in any case against the Union of India.”

Taking note of the objection made by Imroz, the Sessions Judge Kupwara directed the government to appoint a new public prosecutor in the case. The judge has given 10 days time to the government. The ‘Support Group for Justice for Kunan-Poshpora Survivors’ has termed the revelation — that the public prosecutor is also the standing counsel of Union government —  shameful.

“It is a matter of shame that officials appointed to pursue the case on behalf of the survivors collaborate with the accused, that is, the Indian Army in ensuring that justice is delayed and denied,” a spokesperson of the group, said. “This is clearly an example of professional misconduct and lack of integrity”.

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