The High Court of Punjab & Haryana, in Harpreet@Preet v State of Haryana, has observed that lawyers owed a duty to the court and to administration of justice.
The court made such an observation while dismissing a revision petition, preferred impugning the order of court below which dismissed an application preferred under Section 311 Cr P.C.
The court noted that the petitioner herein had preferred an application under Section 311 Cr.P.C, to recall the witness in a rape case. The application was however kept adjourned one reason or other. The trial court noting that such an application cannot be prolonged for long, which would in turn amount to harassing the witness dismissed the application.
The petitioner approached high court and stated that he had preferred an application on 09.11.2012,which stated that certain important questions were left out, whereupon the petitioner was asked to place on record the questions which he wanted to ask the witnesses. It was also urged that all the evidence had concluded and the case was fixed for final arguments and if the stay was not granted then the application would become infructuous. Passing of the final judgment was thus stayed. The case was adjourned on seven dates and till date no such questions were furnished.
Dismissing the application, the court noted that the attempt of the petitioner to recall the witnesses was only an attempt to delay the trial as noted by the lower court. Various flimsy reasons were stated before lower as well as high courts to prolong the application the court noted.
The court also noted that the petitioner’s counsel had indeed cross examined the witnesses and his only attempt to recall them, is only to enable them to retract from their statements which was nothing but an sheer abuse of process of law. The court further noted that there was an admission by the petitioner on about a compromise in the matter in this regard and a quashing petition on the basis of compromise was filed which was later dismissed as withdrawn.
Justice Anita Chaudhry dismissing the application terming it as farce observed:- “The lawyer's duty towards his client has to be balanced. They owe a duty to the Court and to the administration of justice. The lawyer who filed the petition and represented the petitioner till the last hearing had mislead the Court. The legal practitioner's duty to promote his client's interest must never transcend his duty to promote the interest of justice and truth. He also has a paramount duty towards the Court. His duty is to uphold the interest of justice and it should be of absolute condour.”
Read the order here.