A section of lawyers on Monday marched from the Indian Law Institute to the Bar Council of India (BCI), demanding disciplinary proceedings against the Jammu Bar Association for their alleged “misconduct” in the aftermath of the Kathua rape case.
The lawyers, under the banner of ‘Lawyers for Democracy & Rule of Law’, submitted a memorandum to the BCI Chairman. The protesters said that the office-bearers and members of the Jammu Bar Association “opposed and obstructed the filing of chargesheet against the accused in the case”.
They further said that the Jammu Bar Association had spoken “in defence of the culprits accused of heinous crimes such as rape and murder” and “pressed for transfer of the case from Crime Branch to the CBI”.
“B S Slathia, president of Jammu Bar Association, issued a warning to the government saying that ‘today the Jammu youth was agitating with national flag, but tomorrow they would have AK 47 rifles in their hands if their demands were not met’,” the protesting lawyers wrote in the memorandum, adding that these constitute “serious acts of misconduct”.
They also alleged that Deepika Singh Rajawat, the victim’s lawyer, was pressured not to pursue the case.
“The Bar Association resorted to extra-judicial methods in defence of the culprits who are accused of heinous crimes. Their action is nothing short of subversion of the rule of the law. Office-bearers of a Bar Association are not expected to threaten a fellow lawyer… The very fact that the Jammu police has filed FIRs against large number of lawyers for obstruction in filing the chargesheet is sufficient reason to initiate disciplinary action against the Bar Association and their defaulting members,” they wrote, seeking disciplinary action against the association.