The AIL Alumni have been a source of inspiration for all their juniors and one such example is of Astha Sharma (Batch of 2010), Nupur Kumar (Batch of 2012) and Anju Thomas (Batch of 2015) who practice in the Supreme Court in the offices of Mr. Sunil Fernandes, Advocate on record, Supreme Court of India and were actively involved in the recent Kathua Rape Case. The matter was filed by Mr. Sunil Fernandes, Advocate on Record, Supreme Court of India on behalf of the biological father of the 8 year old victim. Justice has no religion and implementation of the same is the prime responsibility of any lawyer. The recent incident that occurred in Kathua witnessed a clash of this ideology when the members of the bar restrained the local counsel – Ms. Deepika Singh Rajawat to appear in other matters after she took up the case. Ms. Deepika Singh Rajawat who is representing the victims family/complainant in the trial and her family were further threatened, the tribal activist working with her was beaten up and the investigating agency/crime branch was also not allowed to file the chargesheet by an angry mob of lawyers at the trial court who were all supporting the accused.
Since the entire case had taken a communal turn and it was politicized to the extent that the victims family and lawyer apprehended that a fair and free trial would not be possible in the state and hence a writ petition was filed before the Supreme Court seeking to transfer the trial of the instant case to outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir. After the notice was issued and the state was called upon to respond on the instant matter, the accused also sought to intervene in the matter to object to such a transfer. However, after hearing all the parties including Ms. Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate who was leading Mr. Fernandes and his team in the matter, the SC was of the opinion that it would be fair to transfer the trial to Pathankot in Punjab which is geographically in proximity to Kathua but a separate state. The SC however granted liberty to the State of JK to appoint a special public prosecutor for the instant case to be held at Pathankot.
The Blue Pencil and the students of AIL are proud to be associated with such righteous lawyers and we wish them all the best for their future endeavours. We would also like to convey our thanks to Ms. Astha Sharma for providing us with the necessary information for this article.
This write up was prepared by Ojas Kainthla.