Recently, the Supreme Court held that right to get represented through a lawyer is a fundamental right referable to rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Trial convicted Buddhu and Subedar in a murder case, During the pendency of Appeal before the Allahabad High Court, Buddhu passed away, and proceedings against him stood abated.
During the Final Hearing, the Bench noted that even though the cause list mentioned lawyers’ name for accused-appellant, no one was present to represent the accused. However, the Bench considered the matter on merit and proceeded to dismiss it.
Counsel for the Accused submitted that the High Court’s order should be set aside as the Appeal was disposed of in the absence of lawyers who represented the accused.
The Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice UU Lalit, Hon’ble Justice Vineet Saran and Hon’ble Justice Ravindra Bhat observed that the right to being represented through a lawyer was part of due process and is preferable to the right guaranteed in Article 21 of Indian Constitution.
It was further observed that if the Accused’s lawyer was not present during the hearing, the Court should have appointed an Amicus Curiae, but they didn’t.
The order passed by the High Court was set aside, the criminal Appeal was restored to the files of Hon’ble High Court with a direction that the case should be disposed of afresh.
Title: Subedar vs State of Uttar Pradesh
Case No.: Criminal Appeal No. 886 OF 2020
Date of Order: 18.12.2020
Coram: Hon’ble Justice UU Lalit, Hon’ble Justice Vineet Saran and Hon’ble Justice Ravindra Bhat