Friday, November 23, 2012

A Landmark Direction by The Apex Court against a Senior Lawyer

While Adjudicating CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1393 OF 2008 against Mr. R. K. Anand, a senior lawyer of Delhi High Court, challenging the order of a proceeding initiated suo motu [registered as Writ Petition(Criminal) No.796 of 2007] before Delhi High Court, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has made certain landmark observations, and took an illustrative view in accordance with the facts and circumstances of this case for the enhancement of the punishment given to the contemnor, considering it wholly inadequate. The SC further observed with a slightly lenient view taken in the matter with a direction that "In a judicial proceeding, however, it is important not to lose complete objectivity, We feel that no useful purpose will be served by sending the contemnor to jail.On the contrary, by keeping him out and making him do the things that he has undertaken to do would serve a useful social purpose. We, accordingly, accept the offer made by the contemnor. In terms of his undertaking, the contemnor shall not do any kind of professional work charging any fees or for any personal considerations for one year from today. He shall exclusively devote his professional services to help pro bono the accused who, on account of lack of resources, are not in a position to engage any lawyer to defend themselves and have no means to have their cases effectively presented before the court. The contemnor shall place his professional services at the disposal of the Delhi Legal Services Authority which, in coordination with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority, will frame a scheme to avail of the contemnor’s services for doing case of undefended accused either at the trial or at the appellate stage. The contemnor shall appear in court only in cases assigned to him by the Legal Services Authority."

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