KOCHI: It could well be an indication as to why so any convicts languish in prisons for long. Angered by the absence of counsel for petitioners during the final hearing of criminal appeals, the Kerala High Court has initiated proceedings.
A Division Bench of the High Court wrote to the registrar general informing that no counsel representing the appellants were present during hearing of the criminal appeals listed on Wednesday. The court observed that the appellants who are in jail are not aware that their counsel were not appearing before the court.
In the opening day after summer vacation, when the Bench comprising Justice K T Sankaran and Justice B Sudheendra Kumar started its proceedings at 10.15 am there were no advocates before the court to argue the cases. There were 23 cases listed before the court but not even the advocate for the first case listed was not present out of the 23 cases. The Bench pointed out that the only counsel present before the court was Advocate Basil Attipetty who was not part of any cases apart form the public prosecutor representing the state.
“The appellants who are in jail are not aware of their sad plight that counsel representing them are not appearing at court. In many of the cases, appellants used to send letters from the jail to High Court requesting to post criminal appeals and such cases are also being posted for hearing,” the court said.
It also cautioned that in any case where the counsel for the appellant does not appear, the absence of the counsel will be intimated to the appellant concerned and should be reported to the Bar Council of Kerala. Interestingly, for the first time, ten Division Benches heard cases on Wednesday.