Friday, August 23, 2013
Lawyers play an important part in the administration of justice. The profession itself requires the safeguarding of high moral standards. As an officer of the court the overriding duty of a lawyer is to the court, the standards of his profession and to the public. Since the main job of a lawyer is to assist the court in dispensing justice, the members of the Bar cannot behave with doubtful scruples or strive to thrive on litigation. Lawyers must remember that they are equal partners with judges in the administration of justice. If lawyers do not perform their function properly, it would be destructive of democracy and the rule of law. [ In SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION NO. 312 of 2013 "Rameshwar Prasad Goyal, Advocate Case" ]
The system of administration of criminal justice in India is well defined by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, in the matters of Thakur Ram and Others v/s The State of Bihar, while examining the right of a third party to invoke the revisional jurisdiction under the Code of 1898. The Apex Court had observed as under : “The criminal law is not to be used as an instrument of wrecking private vengeance by an aggrieved party against the person who, according to that party, had caused injury to it. Barring a few exceptions, in criminal matters the party who is treated as the aggrieved party is the State which is the custodian of the social interests of the community at large and so it is for the State to take all the steps necessary for bringing the person who has acted against the social interests of the community to book.”
Private funding of the investigative process has been disapproved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Navinchanda N. Majithia v/s State of Meghalaya and Others, with the following landmark observations: "Financial crunch of any State treasury is no justification for allowing a private party to supply funds to the police for conducting such investigation. Augmentation of the fiscal resources of the State for meeting the expenses needed for such investigations is the lookout of the executive. Failure to do it is no premise for directing a complainant to supply funds to the investigating officer. Such funding by interested private parties would vitiate the investigation contemplated in the Code. A vitiated investigation is the precursor for miscarriage of criminal justice. Hence any attempt, to create a precedent permitting private parties to supply financial assistance to the police for conducting investigation, should be nipped in the bud itself. No such precedent can secure judicial imprimatur."
In the case of Akalu Ahir v/s Ramdeo Ram (supra), The Hon'ble Apex Court, however, by way of illustration, indicated the following categories of cases which would justify the High Court in interfering with a finding of acquittal in revision: (i) Where the trial court has no jurisdiction to try the case, but has still acquitted the accused; (ii) Where the trial court has wrongly shut out evidence which the prosecution wished to produce; (iii) Where the appellate court has wrongly held the evidence which was admitted by the trial court to be inadmissible; (iv) Where the material evidence has been overlooked only (either) by the trial court or by the appellate court; and (v) Where the acquittal is based on the compounding of the offence which is invalid under the law. These categories were, however, merely illustrative and it was clarified that other cases of similar nature can also be properly held to be of exceptional nature where the High Court can justifiably interfere with the order of acquittal The aforesaid illustrative observation is made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court recently on 19th August 2013 while allowing CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.462 OF 2008, lodged by accused Venkatesan.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
"Independence of judiciary is the basic feature of the Constitution. It demands that a Judge who presides over the trial, the Public Prosecutor who presents the case on behalf of the State and the lawyer vis-a-vis amicus curiae who represents the accused must work together in harmony in the public interest of justice uninfluenced by the personality of the accused or those managing the affairs of the State. They must ensure that their working does not lead to creation of conflict between justice and jurisprudence. A person whether he is a judicial officer or a Public Prosecutor or a lawyer defending the accused should always uphold the dignity of their high office with a full sense of responsibility and see that its value in no circumstance gets devalued. The public interest demands that the trial should be conducted in a fair manner and the administration of justice would be fair and independent" The aforesaid landmark observations with directions are made on dt.13 August 2013, by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, while dismissing CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1166 OF 2013, instituted by Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav recently.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
A man himself is the best eye witness of his own guilt and character, if he is placed before his own instinct like a mirror. To prove his guilt or character , simply drag him out from his own instinct to expose himself voluntarily or tactfully through his cross examination.
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