It is the right of every person to be represented by a legal counsel pertaining to a legal issue in the courts of law. The duty of the counsel is to effectuate absolute presence and representation of his/her client and to justify his/her side to the legal issues. However, the Allahabad High Court set aside a conviction order passed by the Trial Court on the reasoning that the counsel representing the accused had not taken appropriate and necessary steps in defending the accused as was mandated to be done.
The criminal appeal was filed by the accused challenging the order of conviction dated 09/07/2012 in the matter of State Vs. Bablu and others wherein the accused was convicted for an offence under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and sentenced with imprisonment for life with a fine in the sum of Rs.10,000/- attended with a direction that in the event of default in the payment of fine, the appellant would have to undergo a further term of one year rigorous imprisonment.
After hearing the submissions and observing that there has been an ignorance of the basic principles of law by the Trial Court judge, the Allahabad High Court came to the conclusion that the conviction was against the fundamental principles of natural justice wherein a right to fair trial was not provided. The Court made reference to the case of Mohd. Hussain Zulfikar Ali Vs. State (Government of NCT of Delhi), (2012) 9 SCC 408 and observed as follows:
“Thus seen in the context of this case the firm requirement of the law, the highest guarantees of the Constitution embodied in Articles 21, 22 & 39A besides international conventions on human rights, the right to a fair trial about which there is no doubt or dissent, would be an empty formality and an unrealized constitutional guarantee apart from a transgression of the statutory provisions embodied in Section 304(1) Cr.P.C.”
The High Court also observed that the submission of the State that the accused stayed as a mute spectator was is completely misplaced as it is the duty of the Court to come forward and ensure provision of proper and effective legal assistance to be defended vigorously and dutifully during the trial.
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