February 4, 2009 12:36:15 am
Taking a strong stand against lawyers going on a strike and hampering judicial proceedings,a sessions judge has said that the courts cannot be affected by the whims of advocates. The judge was a hearing a revision petition of a man whose lawyer could not appear in court owing to a strike.
An additional sessions judge at the Karkardooma Court observed that it was a matter of great concern that lawyers would first strike work and will then move applications before different courts for reversing or modifying the impugned orders by respective judges.
In an order that assumes significance in the backdrop of the recent spate of strikes by lawyers in protest of amendments in the CrPC,the judge said,The court cannot be taken for a ride and work at the whims of the advocates.
The court was adjudicating a petition by one Brij Bhushan,who had lost the opportunity to cross-examine the complainant after his lawyer failed to appear on the fixed date due to a strike by the Shahdara Bar Association on March 3 last year.
Taking away the right to cross-examine the complainant,the magistrate had then noted that absence of lawyers was not a valid reason to give adjournments and more chances to the defence.
Bhushan,who is an accused in a dowry case,had moved the revision plea before the sessions court,arguing that the complainant was the most important witness and defences failure to cross-examine her would prove prejudicial to his rights as an accused.
He also pleaded that his lawyer was not allowed to enter the courtroom because of the strike and more specifically,the boycott of the concerned magisterial court. The court,however,appeared unimpressed by the contention regarding the inability of the lawyer to attend the hearing.
It is a matter of great concern that the lawyer had voluntarily boycotted the court and later moved an application for recalling the witness when the court closed the cross-examination, said the judge in a recent order.
Delving into the second plea,the judge observed that while a court was not expected to be governed by the lawyers whims,it also had to see that an accused is not made to suffer because of his counsels acts.
The court then adopted a sympathetic view of the entire episode and gave one last and final opportunity to Bhushan for cross-examination of the complainant on the condition of his depositing Rs 2,000 in the legal aid fund.
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