Srinagar, June 10 : Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, express its dissatisfaction over the order of sentence passed by a Pathankot Court against three accused persons, who were found guilty of conspiracy, kidnapping, drugging, gang-raping and killing of an eight year old Bakerwal girl Asifa at Rasana Kathua, Jammu, but has awarded them life imprisonment and fine u/s 120-B, 302, 376-D, 328 and 360 RPC.
The aforesaid accused persons having committed a dastardly act, therefore, they deserved a death penalty but the court has awarded them lenient punishment of life imprisonment, for no obvious reason.
The court has also convicted other three accused persons who are police officials u/s 201 and 343 RPC and has sentenced them to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5000/-. Though, these three persons being part of the conspiracy and being police officials deserved the punishment of maximum punishment prescribed by Section 201 and 343 RPC.
The Court has also acquitted Vishal Jangotra, the son of Sanjeev Ram, the mastermind, by giving him the benefit of doubt, to which he was not entitled under law. However, notwithstanding the aforesaid lenient punishment awarded to the accused persons, the judgment pronounced by the Kathua Court is a slap on the face of all those, try to communalize the crime and besides vilifying the victim, came out openly in support of the accused persons.
The verdict is also bound to prevent others from committing such like acts on hapless victims and will also work as a deterrent against those, who derive pleasure in committing such beastly acts.
The Bar Association also appreciates the steps taken by the Kathua Court in completing the trial of the case within seventeen months, during the course of which it recorded the statement of 114 witnesses without availing a single holiday during the said period and after hearing the arguments of the respective counsel, pronounced its verdict swiftly, so as to ensure justice to the victim family.
Meanwhile, in a meeting held here today, the Bar Association, expressed its grief over the sad demise of Late Syed Andrabi, Advocate, who passed on 9th of June, 2019 at his Hyderpora residence, after a brief illness.
Late Syed Yasin Andrabi, after his retirement as Commissioner, Agrarian Reforms, had got himself enrolled as an Advocate and besides becoming a member of Bar Association, he practiced law in revenue and other courts, for a considerable period of time, till his health gave in and he retired from active practice some years before. Late Syed Yasin Andrabi shall always be remembered for his role which he played in exposing army brutality in Kunanposhpora in February, 1991, when in the teeth of stiff opposition from all concerned quarters, he in his capacity as Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, conducted a spot visit, during the course of which he recorded the statements of villagers, including some ladies and after seeking their torn clothes, submitted a report to the higher authorities saying that “I am satisfied that a prima-facie case of molestation and manhandling as well as rape is made out”.
Late Syed Yasin Andrabi, was a noble soul and was always ready to extend his helping hand to everyone, politely, a quality for which he was admired by one and all.
The Bar Association also expresses its sorrow over the demise of Showkat Ahmad Jan, a noted social activist, who died on 9th of June, 2019, at Magarmal Bagh, Srinagar.
Late Showkat Jan, after completing his LLB Course from Aligarh Muslim University, also practiced law in different courts at Srinagar. He was also a member of Bar Association for some time and even after joining his family business, he used to come to meet his friends in the Bar Association, quite often.
The Bar Association, while condoling the demise of Syed Yasin Andrabi and Showkat Ahmad Jan, prays to Almighty Allah to rest their soul in peace and give courage to their families to bear the irreparable loss.