JK: Former Lawyer Of Kathua Rape Accused Appointed As New Additional Advocate General

The Logical Indian Crew Jammu and Kashmir

July 20th, 2018 / 2:04 PM

Aseem Sawhney

Image Credits: Republic TV

In a move which drew J&K government heavy criticism, a lawyer,  Aseem Sawhney, who represented one of the Kathua rape and murder accused (Tilak Raj, a policeman), has been promoted to the post of an Additional Advocate General (AAG) in the state on July 17.

He was one among the 31 advocates appointed by the state governor N.N. Vohra as additional advocate general, deputy advocate general and government advocates, reported The Wire. Sawhney was previously appointed as the Deputy Advocate General by the state.


The decision drew heavy criticism

In a series of tweets, former Chief Minister of the state and PDP chief, Mehbooba Mufti came down heavily on this decision and called it a “shocking violation”.



Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, a rival of Mufti, while condemning the move took to Twitter and said:

However, the Kathua victim’s lawyer, Deepika Singh Rajawat, has called this as “nonsense” and further added that the focus should be on the trial. “We should not react to this. We should focus on the trial,” she said.


 

Defending the accused just a ‘job’

In spite of being one of the defence lawyers, Sawhney had not appeared in court since July 2 and has claimed that he will not be further involved in the case. Defending his choice of representing the accused, he claimed that it was the job to fight as a lawyer. Sawhney told The New Indian Express, “Should lawyers then stop defending militants, Ajmal, Kasab, Naved or controversial cases as it would jeopardise their career? Point to ponder,” he said.


Background To The Rape Case

The gruesome incident took place in January 2018 when a girl from the Bakarwal community disappeared when she was out grazing ponies. Her body was recovered on January 17, a week after her disappearance, from a wooded part of Rasana village. Tests were conducted to find out whether she was raped or not and found that she was alive for three or four days after she went missing. She was kept in a large prayer room. Her body was found almost 200 metres from the prayer room.


Also Read: Kathua: Police Say 8-Yr-Old Murdered And Raped To Frighten A Community


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Written by : Sromona Bhattacharyya

Edited by : Abhinav Joshi

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