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Court Has To Appoint Amicus Curiae Or Request Legal Service Committee To Appoint An Advocate If Accused Is Unrepresented Before It: SC [Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
13 Feb 2020 6:38 AM GMT
Court Has To Appoint Amicus Curiae Or Request Legal Service Committee To Appoint An Advocate If Accused Is Unrepresented Before It: SC [Read Judgment]
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The Supreme Court has reiterated that when an accused is unrepresented before a Court, it has to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocate In this case, the High Court of the State of Telangana had confirmed the conviction of the accused for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code even though...

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The Supreme Court has reiterated that when an accused is unrepresented before a Court, it has to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocate

In this case, the High Court of the State of Telangana had confirmed the conviction of the accused for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code even though they were unrepresented before the Court during the hearing of their appeal. 

Disapproving this approach, the bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and R. Subhash Reddy observed thus:

It is by now well settled by a catena of judgments such as the decision of this Court in Rakesh & Anr V. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2011(12) SCC 512, that it is in the interest of justice to appoint an amicus curiae to assist the court where the accused is unrepresented. The Court may also refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee, which may appoint an advocate to represent the accused. The High Court, unfortunately, has not chosen to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocate.

Though it observed that the matter is fit to be remitted to the High Court, it did not do so taking into account the fact that the incident occurred in the year 2011 and that the accused have been in custody for about 8 months. Referring to the evidence on record, the bench confirmed the conviction, but reduced their sentence to the period already undergone. 

Case name: SHAIK MUKTHAR vs. THE STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 1753/2019
Coram : Justices Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and R.Subhash Reddy
Counsel: Advocates P. Prabhakar and Bina Madhavan 

Click here to Read/Download Order

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