The Jammu and Kashmir administration has appointed Aseem Sawhney, the lawyer representing the main accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, as the additional advocate general (AAG). Sawhney had previously been inducted as deputy advocate general by the state.
According to The Indian Express, Sawhney on Tuesday said that he has not appeared in the case since 2 July and was only a “chamber counsel” in the matter, while his father AK Sawhney was the main counsel.
He insisted that it won’t be a conflict of interest for him to be named additional advocate general, saying he wouldn’t appear in the Kathua rape and murder case at all. However, he insisted that there is no need to take back his vakalatnamafiled in the case. Sawhney also said he has not yet been informed of the department to which he has been allocated.
However, according to a report in The Economic Times, the prosecution in the Kathua rape and murder case had taken serious objection to Aseem’s father, AK Sawhney, giving daily briefing to the press after court proceedings. In fact, as per the report, one of the prosecutors had also objected to Aseem “flashing a newsbreak” to the press even when the court proceedings were on.
An eight-year-old girl went missing from near her home in the state’s Kathua district on 10 January, 2018. The police found her body one week later. A post-mortem suggested that she was raped before being murdered. The state government handed over the probe in the case to the Crime Branch, which had arrested eight people, including four policemen. The trial is being conducted on a day-to-day basis, and over 10 witnesses have been examined till now.
News credit : Firstpost