The hearing in murder and rape case of an 8-year-old girl from Kathua started today, on April 16, at the Jammu and Kashmir Sessions court. As per reports, Supreme Court will be hearing a plea filed by the victim’s father over the transfer of case at around 2 PM today. The PIL filed by the victim’s lawyer, seeks the transfer of case outside the J&K to Delhi. The police have booked eight accused in the matter and a juvenile who allegedly held the victim hostage in January. As per the chargesheet filed in the case by the police, the minor girl was kept in a temple for almost a week. The accused kept sedating the girl for days and took turns to sexually assault her. After holding the girl in captivity for days, the accused killed her by crushing her head with a rock and disposing off her body near the temple.

In order to calm the growing criticism for the government, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not only forwarded the resignation of two BJP leaders the Governor but has also ordered the formation of a SIT and has appointed two Sikh special public prosecutors. Reports suggest that the hearing in the matter are expected to run their natural course after the Supreme Court had sought explanations from the Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua District Bar Association over the lawyers causing obstruction in the case.

Here are the highlights updates on Kathua rape case:

5:26 AM — The bench, which was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, directed the state to help the family and counsel by taking essential security measures. The government will provide security to the victim’s family, their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, her family and Talib Hussain, who is a member of local Bakerwal community. He is also helping the victim’s family in this case.  

5:16 AM — The Supreme Court on Monday insisted the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide adequate security to the victim’s family. Seeking the Jammu and Kashmir government’s response on a plea for switching the trail of the Kathua rape and murder case from J&K to Chandigarh, the apex court insisted the state government to provide protection to the victim’s family and their counsel. 

5:14 AM — Deepika S Rajawat, who represents the counsel of  victim’s family said that the apex court has issued directions to the authorities in order to provide protection to the victim’s family and their counsel.”The Supreme Court has issued directions to the authorities to provide protection to us,” Deepika S Rajawat was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.  

11:22 AM – Daughter of one of the accused in Kathua case has alleged conspiracy and demanded CBI probe into the matter.

11:12 AM – The court has directed that the chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused. The accused are set to be ready for narco tests as well. Talking to media, Ankur Sharma, said, “Next date of hearing is April 28.”

11:02 AM – Commenting on the charges, one of the accused said that everything will be clear after Narco test.

10:54 AM – The father of the 8-year-old victim reaches the Supreme Court. He has filed a plea seeking security and transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir. The court has agreed to hear the plea at 2 PM today.

10:48 AM – Accused being brought to District Court by the security officials.

10:10 AM – Counsel for accused, Raj Tilak, Aseem Sahni, said that full chargesheet copy has not been provided. He added, “we are depending on information from social media.We are handicapped.”

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