Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Notice a trend where advocates avoid arguing appeal on merits, says SC

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Shillong, September 21: The Supreme Court said that it has noticed that there appears a “trend” where a special leave petition is filed before the apex court against disposal of the application seeking bail or suspension of sentence as appellant’s counsel avoid arguing the main appeal on merits before the high court.

“Learned counsel should be willing and ready to argue the appeal on merits, especially in cases where the appellant/accused have suffered incarceration for some years,” observed a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti.

In its recent order, the bench declined to interfere with an order passed by the Allahabad High Court refusing to suspend appellant’s sentence or grant him bail as his advocate was not ready to argue the main appeal on merits.

The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition and requested the High Court to take up the criminal appeal filed by the petitioner and other co-accused for hearing, adding that “counsel for the appellant- accused and State should be ready for arguments on the appeal”.

In its impugned order, the Allahabad High Court had declined to release the appellant on bail after his counsel submitted that he needs some time to complete the formalities to argue the matter and could not argue the matter that day itself despite the paper book being ready.

The appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment on murder charges by a trial court in Uttar Pradesh and remained incarcerated for over 8 years. (IANS)

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