The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the bar associations of Jammu and Kathua while hearing a plea against lawyers who tried to prevent police officers from filing a chargesheet in a rape and murder case, ANI reported. The court also issued a notice to the Bar Council of India and the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association.

Earlier in the day, the court had agreed to take suo motu cognisance of the conduct of the lawyers, Live Law reported. The court had asked for a petition to be filed in the matter.

On Monday, lawyers at the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Kathua had held a protest when the police came to file a chargesheet against seven people accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in January. The next day, the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed an FIR against the lawyers.

The Bar Association of Jammu supported the lawyers and organised a strike against the FIR on Wednesday.

On Friday, representing a group of Supreme Court lawyers, advocate PV Dinesh urged a bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to take up the matter suo motu as the court needs to take “judicial notice” of the “shocking conduct” of the Kathua lawyers.

“Look at the conduct of the lawyers of Jammu and Kashmir and Kathua Bar,” Dinesh told the bench. “They not only prevented filing of chargesheet but also did not allow lawyer of victim’s family to appear in court.”

Misra and Justice DY Chandrachud asked Dinesh to file a petition with required material so that the court could hear the matter. Misra said the court needed something on record even to take suo motu cognisance of a matter.