Counsel for Kathua rape-murder accused made J&K govt lawyer
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has appointed a counsel representing the main accused in the Kathua rape and murder case as additional advocate general.
Figuring at serial number 7 in the list of additional advocates general, deputy advocates general and government advocates, issued for Jammu wing of the state High Court by the Law Department, Aseem Sawhney is one of the lawyers representing some of the accused in the case, which is being heard in Pathankot, Punjab.
On Tuesday, Sawhney said, “Since July 2, I have not appeared in the case.” He said he was only a “chamber counsel’’ in the matter, and his father A K Sawhney is the main counsel.
Of the 10 prosecution witnesses, he said, he had got “only two examined”. The other eight, Sawhney said, were examined by his father.
Asked whether he will now withdraw his vakalatnama in the case involving rape and murder of an eight-year-old, Sawhney said there is no need for it, except that “I shall not appear in the case’’. There should be no clash of interest, he said.
Sawhney said he has not been informed of the department to which he is allocated.
The eight-year-old girl went missing from near her home in the forests of a village in Kathua district on January 10 this year. The police found her body in the woods a week later. Postmortem suggested she was raped before murder, and the state government handed over the probe to the Crime Branch, which arrested eight people, including four policemen.