The father of the eight-year-old girl Kathua murder victim moved an application in the Pathankot court on Wednesday to remove the family’s advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat from the case, reported The Print. Judge Tejwinder Singh granted the request.
The father said he wanted to withdraw Rajawat’s power of attorney because of her “apprehension and non-appearance” in the case, The Tribune reported. “More than 110 hearings in the case have taken place and more than 100 witnesses have been examined,” his counsel Mubeen Farooqi told The Print. “But Rajawat has appeared in the case only twice. She has been claiming that she is receiving life threats because she has to appear in the case. It was decided that it is best to relieve her of this responsibility.”
The two special public prosecutors “were doing an effective job” in the case, Farooqi added.
Rajawat, who had moved the Supreme Court to get the case shifted from Kathua to Pathankot, said she was surprised by the family’s move. “I never charged [a] single rupee from the complainant and all I wanted was justice be served to the victim,” she told The Tribune. “I am currently overworked and have several cases in both lower courts and Jammu and Kashmir High Court.”
Rajawat told The Print that the senior prosecutors conducting the trial have “far more experience” in handling criminal cases. “It was unfortunate that such a request was made by the victim’s father,” she said. “But I have no grudge against anyone. I did what I thought needed to be done at that crucial stage, and everyone was scared to come forward. I am standing by the family.”