Unwanted Justice

By Devil’s Advocate

When a person is arrested, he is first produced in court and then remanded to judicial custody. This is when the advocates step in and file a bail plea without even the knowledge of the accused. They take advantage of the fact that the case is not heard on day one and instead is posted for filing of objections.

How does it feel to realise that you are being defended by an advocate you’ve never hired? Well the men in black have found this new way to earn a quick buck, taking advantage of a loophole in the Karnataka Criminal Rules of Practice (KCRP).

Consider this. Shantappa is an undertrial prisoner in Parappana Agrahara Central Jail for the past six months. He was arrested in an alleged assault case. He has now approached the Bar Council after he realised that an advocate, Mahesh, has taken up his case in court.

But when Shantappa, who had already hired an advocate, asked Mahesh to keep off his case, he was asked to pay Rs 10,000 for a no-objection certificate from Mahesh! He had no choice to pay up. Now Shantappa wants the Bar Council to take action against Mahesh.

Roy who is in jail on a murder charge is facing a similar problem. He too was represented in court without his knowledge by advocate M W Devraj. He was asked to cough up Rs 4,000 to get rid of the advocate he had never hired. Roy says it is so difficult for him to raise funds from jail and this is the last thing he ever wanted — to spend money when it is absolutely not required.

The catch
The KCRP does not make signing of a vakalath in a criminal case mandatory, a fact that is taken full advantage of by unscrupulous lawyers.

A memo of appearance, and not a vakalathnama, is all it takes and only the lawyer need sign the MoA. The client has no role.

When a person is arrested, he is first produced in court and then remanded to judicial custody. This is when the advocates step in and file a bail plea without even the knowledge of the accused. They take advantage of the fact that the case is not heard on day one and instead is posted for filing of objections.

It is when the accused is served notice in jail that he realises that his bail plea has already been moved. And he cannot hire — assuming he can afford one — the services of a lawyer of his choice unless get gets the NoC!

Bar Council rule
As per the Bar Council rule, such advocates if found guilty could be removed from the rolls or at least be suspended from practice. Former council chairman Y R Sadashiva Reddy says the guilty should be brought to book.

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2 Responses to Unwanted Justice

  1. krishna says:

    Nothing much to say really. To sum it up in one sentence– crooks is not the word. Moreover the Bar Council should stop talking and act soon before this becomes a full time business

  2. Neetu says:

    This is indeed shocking! Can imagine the plight of unsuspecting people being taken for a ride by the sharks.

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