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HC Can't Dispose Appeal Against Conviction On Merits When There Is No Representation For The Convict: SC [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
27 July 2019 3:36 AM GMT
HC Cant Dispose Appeal Against Conviction On Merits When There Is No Representation For The Convict: SC [Read Order]
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Where the advocate for the appellant is absent on the date of hearing, the Court shall either appoint an amicus curiae and then decide the appeal.

The Supreme Court has observed that, the appeal filed by the accused against the conviction can be disposed of on merits only after hearing the appellant or his counsel.When there was no representation for the appellant-convict, the High Court ought not to have disposed of the case on merits, the bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna said. Recently the same bench,...

The Supreme Court has observed that, the appeal filed by the accused against the conviction can be disposed of on merits only after hearing the appellant or his counsel.

When there was no representation for the appellant-convict, the High Court ought not to have disposed of the case on merits, the bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna said.

Recently the same bench, in another case, had set aside a High Court order on the ground that it ought not to have the acquittal without affording any opportunity of hearing to the accused or by appointing an amicus curiae to argue the matter on his behalf if he does not enter appearance. On the same lines, the bench, in Shankar vs. State of Maharashtra, observed.

"Where the advocate for the appellant is absent on the date of hearing, the Court shall either appoint an amicus curiae and then decide the appeal. Once the appeal against the conviction is admitted, it is the duty of the Appellate Court either to appoint an advocate as amicus curiae or to nominate a counsel through Legal Services Authority and hear the matter on merits and then dispose of the appeal. When the appellant was not represented by the advocate, in our view, the High Court ought not to have decided the matter on merits and the impugned order is liable to be set aside and the matter is remitted back to the High Court."

Remanding the appeal to High Court, the bench observed that, if the appellant is still not represented, High Court can nominate a counsel for the appellant through the Legal Services Authority and proceed with the matter. 

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