J&K HC transfers Babar Qadri murder case to Jammu

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has shifted the trial for the Advocate Babar Qadri murder case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Jammu, based on a petition filed by the State Investigation Agency (SIA).

| Updated: 05 February, 2024 12:58 pm IST

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has shifted the trial for the Advocate Babar Qadri murder case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Jammu, based on a petition filed by the State Investigation Agency (SIA).

Advocate Babar Qadri was shot dead by terrorists at his residence in Zahidpora in September 2020. According to the J&K Police chargesheet, The Resistance Front – an offshoot of Pakistani-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in Advocate Babar Qadri’s murder.

Advocate Mohsin Qadri, Senior Additional Advocate General, argued in court that a fair trial was not possible in Srinagar as witnesses, particularly the deceased’s father and brother, faced harassment and threats to favour the accused.

The High Court, acknowledging the importance of a fair and impartial trial, emphasized the need for witnesses to depose in a free and non-hostile atmosphere. The court stated, “This court does not have even an iota of doubt that the fair trial of the case is not possible in Srinagar.”

During the investigation, statements from the father and brother of Advocate Babar Qadri revealed that he had uploaded a video on his Facebook account on the day of his murder. In the video, serious allegations and comments were made regarding the functioning of the J&K Bar Association.

In a Facebook video posted just hours before his death, Advocate Babar Qadri vehemently criticized the President of J&K Bar Association Mian Qayoom, accusing him of stifling dissent and transforming the bar association into a tool for Pakistani-sponsored Hurriyat Conference faction led by separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He also voiced concerns about his safety.

Subsequently, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to delve into the video’s content and explore the involvement of any other person in the heinous act.

In 2022, during the investigation, Jammu and Kashmir Police searched the homes of three advocates in Srinagar, including that of the former President of the J&K High Court Bar Association (JKHBA), Mian Qayoom.

The family of the deceased also alleged that due to fear, threats, and a hostile environment, no lawyer from Kashmir was willing to contest the case, prompting them to seek legal assistance from Jammu.

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