THE Bar Association of Solan district court in Himachal Pradesh has passed a resolution against representing a 21-year-old Kashmiri student in a case registered against him for allegedly making comments against national integration. The bar outfit has said that people “who use our resources but work against us” cannot be provided legal aid under the Indian judicial system.
On Wednesday, a woman lawyer who had taken up the case of the accused, took a U-turn, forcing his family to bring a lawyer from outside the state to represent him.
According to Bar president advocate Manoj Verma, the resolution was passed during a condolence meeting on February 18. “The members by voice vote resolved and agreed that these people are using our resources but are working against us. The members agreed that these people cannot be provided any help under the Indian judicial system because we, as lawyers, also have a responsibility towards society and the families of those martyred,” Verma said.
Asked about the youth’s right to be represented in the court, Verma said they are not asking any member of the court’s legal aid panel to not take up the case.
The youth’s uncle said a lawyer on Tuesday filed a bail application in court but later returned the file. “The woman lawyer filed the case on Tuesday but decided to withdraw on Wednesday after she was warned by her colleagues at the Bar. I have now approached a lawyer from Chandigarh and he has agreed to defend my nephew.”
The youth, a student of Chitkara University, was booked under Section 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) on February 16 after a complaint from Dean of the University, Colonel (retd) A K Chauhan. He has been remanded in judicial custody till February 28.