Lawyers should not suppress material facts or make misleading statements in courts: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) has refused to grant emergency parole to two convicts in the 1996 Bombay Blast case. The petitioners’ counsel made misleading statements and did not disclose the correct law position to get a favourable relief from Court.

A Bench of Hon’ble Justice Amit Borkar and Hon’ble Justice VM Deshpande emphasised that lawyers are expected to make correct statements and not suppress material facts to get favourable orders from Court. The Bench further stated that many cases on intricate issues are disposed of based on submissions made by advocates assuming it to be accurate and correct.

On the issue of lawyers being expected to verify the legal position before making a presentation to the Court, the Bench said that the error might have happened in the instant case due to the lawyer’s negligence. Still, the consequence would be an erroneous judgement with precedential value. To correct such a mistake, a larger bench would have to correct the error which crept in as the lawyer did not perform his duty.

As per the Court, even if a decision is against the lawyer, they must bring it to Court’s notice, and later, he can argue that the law was not correct or would not apply to his case.

These observations were made in a plea filed by Mohd. Yakub Abdul Majid Nagul and Asgar Kadar Sheikh sought release on emergency parole under Rule 19(1)(ii) of Maharashtra Prisons Rules.

Counsel for the petitioner’s MN Ali submitted that the Court had granted parole to the petitioners on two separate occasions; Sheikh had surrendered without delay, while Nagul surrendered after a delay of eleven days. He also cited a coordinate Bench order that directed authorities to parole the applicants.

Relying on the lawyer’s submission, the Court started ordering a similar order but stopped midway on noticing that both applicants had surrendered late on prior occasions.

The Court also noted a judgement stating emergency parole could not be given to convicts who had earlier surrendered after a delay.

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The Bench adjourned the case for a fresh hearing.

On the next date, Mr Ali confessed that he knew about the judgement denying emergency parole but did not disclose it to Court to get a favourable order.

The Bench expressed displeasure and opined that Ali had tried to twist and suppress the relevant facts to get a favourable order.

Observing this, the Bench refused to grant emergency parole to the applicants because earlier, they did not surrender on time.

Lastly, the Bench stated that the instant case illustrates an attempt by the advocate to make a misleading statement that appears innocent but, on deeper scrutiny, appears to be an attempt to twist facts to get a favourable order from Court.

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