Plea to shift Kathua Case accused to Pathankot jail

J&K Government’s special public prosecutor Santokh Singh Basra has moved an application with District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh seeking shifting of seven of the eight accused to the Pathankot sub-jail in the Kathua rape-murder case. The eighth accused is a juvenile.
After the hearing began in the case here on Thursday, the accused are commuting daily from Kathua, where they are lodged in a jail, in a J&K Police bus.
The Judge will pass an order on Basra’s application on June 4. Basra also apologised to the court for failing to provide food to the accused on Thursday.
In its order, the Supreme Court had said, “It would be the duty of the State of J&K to transport witnesses to Pathankot and provide all other necessary facilities, including food, so that the witnesses do not face any difficulty.”
Basra said since the trial was at the initial stage, some aspects were inadvertently overlooked. “In future, we will make all arrangements pertaining to food and transport,” he said. Basra is being assisted by JK Chopra, district attorney, Pathankot, while the accused are being represented by a battery of more than 15 lawyers.
The trial is being held on a day-to-day basis. “The examination-in-chief and cross-examination of witnesses shall be in a continuous manner and for no reasons whatsoever it shall be deferred,” read the apex court order.
The security remained tight for the second successive day on Friday.
SSP Vivek Sheel Soni and senior officers visited the judicial complex minutes before the second day’s hearing commenced. The SSP said a review of the security apparatus would be made in the next few days. “We will review security measures after taking inputs from various agencies about the threat perception faced by all stakeholders, including the accused, their lawyers and family members of both the victim and the accused,” Soni added.