Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

'No Cooperation From Advocates In Deciding Criminal Appeals': Bombay High Court Asks Bar Council To Take Note

Sharmeen Hakim
21 Dec 2021 6:30 AM GMT
No Cooperation From Advocates In Deciding Criminal Appeals: Bombay High Court Asks Bar Council To Take Note
x

The Bombay High Court recently took strong exception to the non-cooperation of advocates by repeatedly taking adjournments in criminal appeals if their clients are out on bail, and directed the Bar Council to take note of the same. A division bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Prithviraj Chavan observed thus after repeated adjournments sought by an advocate handling a...

The Bombay High Court recently took strong exception to the non-cooperation of advocates by repeatedly taking adjournments in criminal appeals if their clients are out on bail, and directed the Bar Council to take note of the same.

A division bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Prithviraj Chavan observed thus after repeated adjournments sought by an advocate handling a 23-year-old appeal filed in 1998.

"We have noticed that in most of the matters 'where the accused are on bail' the advocates have a tendency to seek an adjournment on one or the other count," the Bench remarked at the outset. 

The court said it had been constrained to issue bailable warrants, then non-bailable warrants to the accused in several cases. "In certain cases we had issued notice to the accused in custody, thereby informing the accused that the advocates engaged by them do not appear or that they are now representing the prosecution and therefore, unable to conduct the matter."

It further noted that advocates don't take the responsibility of conducting criminal appeals at the final hearing stage. The court cited a case wherein the bench interacted with the accused upon issuing a bailable warrant. The man denied knowing the advocate representing him.

It further said that this attitude contributes to the pendency of criminal appeals, which the court has tried to overcome by appointing lawyers from the legal aid panel. Several of them have graciously accepted and assisted the court, the bench noted.

"It is also seen that only after legal aid advocates are appointed, some senior advocates accept the Vakalatnama on the date of the hearing and again seek an adjournment. It is difficult for the Courts to expedite the hearing of the criminal appeals since there is no proper co-operation from the Advocates on record in the respective matters. Bar Council is requested to take note of this fact."

Case

Pursuant to a non-bailable warrant issued on December 2, Balasaheb Saravappa Varhade, a resident of Solapur, appeared before the court last week. His counsel Rushikesh Kale informed the bench that he wasn't in touch with the man since 1998, despite the matter coming up for hearing in 2005, 2018 and on several occasions after that.

Kale orally sought cancellation of the bailable warrant stating that Varhade had met with a train accident in 2002 and has been disabled since then. He submitted a copy of the disability certificate. Kale informed the court that Varhade had approached him only the previous day.

"It is only in the interest of justice that this court is considering the oral prayer for recalling the non-bailable warrant," the court said in its December 16 order. However, the bench fixed the matter for a final hearing on January 12, 2022, and directed the accused to remain present on that date.

Next Story