CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab minister and senior BJP leader Master Mohan Lal is representing two of the men accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. He will not charge a fee for appearing for the two accused, Sanjhi Ram and his son Vishal.

Lal was Punjab transport minister in the previous SAD-BJP government, and represented in the state assembly from 2007 to 2012. He will appear before the trial court presided over by and sessions judge Tejwinder Singh.

Lal denied any political motive behind representing the accused. “I have a professional relationship with my clients and my engagement as defence counsel should not be seen through the political prism,” he said. “The accused had approached me. They are like any other client and I will fight to prove their innocence.” The 71-year-old lawyer-politician said he never charged fees from clients.

Sources said Lal is considered an influential person in Pathankot and adjoining Kathua. He was recently asked by the trial court to visit jail after some of the accused complained about cramped cells. After his visit, the accused did not make any further complaint. Lal, a former school teacher, started practicing law at Pathankot district bar after his term as MLA ended in 2012.
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