Junaid Khan lynching case: Judge says govt. lawyer helped the accused, seeks action against him

Junaid Khan lynching case: Judge says govt. lawyer helped the accused, seeks action against him
Pic Courtesy: Indian Express

The judge of the trial court hearing the Junaid Khan murder case said that a senior government lawyer was helping the main accused charged with the murder of the 15-year-old boy on board a Delhi-Mathura train on June 22 and has asked the Haryana government, the advocate general’s office and the bar council to take action against him.

In an interim order on October 25, the Additional District and Sessions Judge, YS Rathore, said additional advocate general Naveen Kaushik was helping the counsel of Naresh Kumar, the main accused in the case, by “suggesting questions to be put to the witnesses” at the hearings on October 24 and 25, which amounts to “professional misconduct and is against legal ethics and highly unbecoming of an advocate.

According to Indian Express, Rathore said Junaid’s lynching was a sensitive case, and that if Kaushik appeared to be siding with the defence counsel, it will send a wrong signal and will also create a feeling of insecurity amongst the victim party and will adversely effect the aim of the court to conduct free and fair trial.

According to the order, when Kaushik was instructed by the court that he could not appear with the defence counsel, he had said he was there only to “watch the court proceedings.” Upon being confronted Kaushik had left the courtroom.

However the lawyer denied the accusation saying that the judge had the “wrong impression”. He however said he was only involved as he was organising the Bharatiya Bhasha Abhiyan, which works to help courts function in Indian languages. Kaushik said he knew the counsel appearing for one of the accused and that he had requested the court to record evidence in Hindi.

On June 22, Junaid and three of his brothers had boarded a local train from Delhi’s Sadar Bazar Station. A fight broke out between some passengers and the brothers over seats. The incident turned communal after a mob allegedly called the brothers “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters” and threw their skull caps on the floor. 15-year-old Junaid was killed in the fight, while his brothers were hospitalised with stab wounds.

Junaid’s father Jalaluddin had recently filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking transfer of the case from the Haryana police to an independent agency. He had also demanded security for his family and the prosecution witnesses.