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December 16 gangrape convicts write to CJI against appointment of amicus curiae

The convicts, in the letter to Supreme Court, have said that the two lawyers appointed by it have previously taken a position against them and claimed bias

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 12, 2016 4:33:00 pm
Nirbhaya, December 16 gangrape, Supreme Court, SC, amicus curiae, apex court, Decemeber 16 gangrape news, India news The juvenile convicted in the December 16, 2012 gang rape (File Photo)

Two convicts in the December 16 gangrape have written to the Chief Justice of India against the appointment of Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde as amicus curiae.

In the letter, convicts wrote the two lawyers have taken a position against them in TV debates and hence can’t be neutral.

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The apex court on Monday had clarified that the two amicus curiae appointed by it on the appeals of the four death row convicts do not undermine the credentials of the lawyers engaged by the condemned prisoners.

A three-judge Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra made the remarks after one of the counsel appearing for two convicts said that “erroneous aspersions” have been cast in the minds of people regarding the capability of lawyers as apex court appointed amicus curiae in the matter at the last hearing.

“We clarify that the court appoints amicus curiae even when parties have engaged their counsel. It never means that the counsel is not competent,” the Bench, also comprising justices C Nagappan and R Banumathi, said.

Advocate M.L. Sharma, appearing for two convicts, referred to a media report and said after the amicus curiae were appointed in the matter, it was reported that lawyers engaged by the convicts were “not competent“.

However, the Bench said, “we have appointed amicus curiae in the matter as we wanted to learn. We wanted to have a perception and view of the amicus curiae. Even in matters in which senior advocates have appeared, we have appointed amicus curiae.”

“We are not depriving you from arguing your case,” the Bench said and fixed the matter for hearing on July 18.

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