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Ankita murder case: Lawyers from Uttarakhand's Kotdwar refuse to represent accused, bail hearing deferred

All the lawyers in Kotdwar, Uttarakhand, have refused to represent the accused in the Ankita Bhandari murder case. Due to the decision made by the lawyers on Wednesday, there was no hearing on the accused's bail plea.

According to reports, the Kotdwar Bar Association unanimously decided not to defend Vanantara resort owner Pulkit Arya, manager Saurabh Bhaskar, and Ankit Gupta.

Previously, the attorneys' body agreed that no lawyer will represent the accused in Ankita Bhandari's murder case.

A lawyer in Kotdwar said, "No lawyer or advocate will take up the case of the accused. If any outsider will take up the case, we will protest against this. This decision has been unanimously taken by the Bar association members. Even Jitendra Rawat, lawyer of the accused appointed earlier has applied for a bail petition, however, on moral grounds, he too backed out from the case and has withdrawn the bail petition. Presently, there is no lawyer for the accused."

Meanwhile, the remand counsel, who was appointed to the three accused by the legal authority in Uttarakhand to file their bail application, has also withdrawn from the case.

“I was not his personal advocate. The legal authority gives every under-trial criminal, a lawyer from the government counsels’ panel to file for them initially. Therefore, I had filed a bail application on behalf of the accused. However, taking into consideration the public outcry and the gravity of the allegations against the three accused, I have withdrawn that bail application as well,” said Jitendra Rawat, remand lawyer provided to Pulkit and other accused.

The bail plea was supposed to be presented before Bhavna Pandey, Judicial Magistrate 1 in Kostwar District court.

The matter will now come up for hearing on October 6, when the judicial custody of the three accused will get over.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand police special investigation team (SIT) has discovered significant evidence in the Ankita Bhandari murder case, including CCTV footage of the slain teenager on a motorcycle with the lead accused, Pulkit Arya. Both were seen on bike near the barrage, where her phone was switched off. They also discovered critical CCTV footage showing the other two defendants, Saurav and Ankit, riding on a scooter behind them.

Another CCTV footage obtained shows all of the accused returning home, but Ankita is missing. Cops are extending their investigation into the murder case by using CCTV footage as primary evidence.

Source : DNA India