NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of the accused in the murder case of a student at the Ryan International School in Gurgaon to be defended by their advocates, directing the lawyers’ body not to obstruct the proceedings before the trial court in any manner.The observation came while the bench was hearing a plea by an arrested official of the Ryan Group in connection with the case, seeking shifting of trial to Delhi from the Gurgaon court after the Gurgaon District Bar Association allegedly passed a resolution asking the advocates not to represent accused in the case.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for northern zone head of Ryan Group, Francis Thomas, told the bench that after the bar association’s resolution, no lawyer was ready to appear for the accused.
“This is what we are facing. No lawyer is appearing for the accused,” Rohatgi argued, adding, “I (Thomas) have faced such a hostile atmosphere there”.“Tradition of Bar is that they are under an obligation not to obstruct any lawyer from appearing for anyone whosoever he or she is. This resolution is absolutely erroneous in law,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.]
However, the lawyer appearing for the lawyers’ body told the bench that the resolution has been withdrawn and lawyers were free to appear on behalf of the accused.“We must say without any hesitation that any accused, whatever the offence may be, has a right to be represented by an advocate. The tradition of bar does not authorise any bar association to pass a resolution like this. However, the solace is that realising the fault, the bar association has withdrawn it (resolution),” the bench said.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for northern zone head of Ryan Group, Francis Thomas, told the bench that after the bar association’s resolution, no lawyer was ready to appear for the accused.Meanwhile Ryan International School’s CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents — Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto — have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking anticipatory bail.
Seven-year-old Pradyuman, a class 2 student, was found with his throat slit on September 8 at Ryan International School in Gurgaon.