On Family's Request Kathua Victim's Lawyer Removed From Case Over "Non-Appearance" In The Case
Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who rose to prominence after she took up the onus to help the family of the eight-year-old girl who was brutally gang-raped and murdered in Kathua, has been removed from the post of the attorney based on the request made by the complainant. It has been alleged that Rajawat appeared in very few hearings which have taken place till now.
Power of attorney issued to Rajawat withdrawn
The Jammu-based lawyer Rajawat was removed from the team of prosecutors in the case after Kathua case victim’s father who is complainant moved an application requesting the same. The application was put forth before judge Dr Tejwinder Singh and the court agreed to the request.
As reported by The Print, the application filed by the father said, “Keeping in view her apprehension and non- appearance in this case…I hereby withdraw my power of attorney issued to Deepika Singh Rajawat and now she is not my advocate.”
Mubeen Farooky, another lawyer representing the victim’s family said that till now at least 110 hearings have taken place in this case and about 100 witnesses have been produced, however, Rajawat had appeared just two times. “She has been claiming that she is receiving life threats because she has to appear in the case. It was decided that it is best to relieve her of this responsibility,” he further added.
As of now, two public prosecutors are doing the job, Farooki said.
“I have no grudge against anyone”
It may be noted that Rajawat was the one had moved the Supreme Court to get the case shifted from Kathua to Pathankot. She had also been receiving several threats trying to dissuade her from pursuing the case further.
On the recent developments, Rajawat The Tribune that she was surprised because all she ever wanted was for justice to be served to the victim, for which she did not charge the family even a single rupee. “But I have no grudge against anyone. I did what I thought needed to be done at that crucial stage, and everyone was scared to come forward. I am standing by the family,” she said.
The case has been heard on a day-to-day basis by district and session judges since May 31 under tight security. Rajawat also said that she has been overworked since she has several cases in lower courts as well as Jammu and Kashmir High court, as reported by Free Press Kashmir.
In an interview with The Quint, she said that Pathankot is more than 150 km away from her home in Jammu. travelling daily back and forth to Pathankot is not possible as it would hamper practice in Jammu, she said. “One or two times when I did appear in Pathankot, I saw that the case is being handled well. Public prosecutors are appearing, they are taking care of the case. So I had a belief that the case was in safe hands, and I was not required there… not much,” she said.
She was added that Farooki, who filed the application on the Kathua victim’s father himself is based out of Punjab and has appeared three to four times.