“The matter comes up before this Special Division Bench constituted by Hon’ble the Chief Justice to have the sittings on Saturdays. However, we are constrained to note that as always, the Lawyers, even the ones provided by the Legal Services Authority, are not there to assist the Court,” the bench said.
The Rajasthan High Court has expressed its anguish about lawyers not appearing before the division bench constituted on Saturdays to address the pendency of the pending criminal appeals where the accused are in jail.
We have waited for a considerable time, and in, out of the ten matters, which were listed, not even a single Lawyer from the accused side is available, for making submissions and provide assistance to the Court, the bench headed by Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati said.
Repeated requests to the Bar by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, as well as the persuasions made by us, have failed to ensure a minimum requirement of assistance from the Lawyers on the side of the accused, on such Saturdays... Lawyers provided by the Legal Services Authority are also not available, which makes the situation all the more concerning, the bench added.
The court made this observation in a judgment in one such criminal appeal listed on a Saturday, last month. The bench, as there was lack of representation on behalf of the accused, proceeded to hear the appeal with the assistance rendered by the Public Prosecutor.
“To address the pendency of the pending criminal appeals, where the accused are in jail, this Special Division Bench has been constituted to sit on Saturdays, and therefore, to justify the sitting, we have taken the assistance of the learned Public Prosecutor to go, in depth, into the records of this criminal appeal, and have satisfied ourselves from all aspects of criminal jurisprudence before proceeding with this judgment,” the bench observed.
The appeal was against a trial court judgment that had convicted the accused for murdering his wife, assaulting his parents and in-laws. The court, referring to various witness testimonies, concluded that trial court rightly convicted the accused.