Above: Ryan International School
The Supreme Court has said on Monday (September 18) that an accused has the right to be represented by a lawyer/advocate, whatever be the offense. The Court was hearing the plea of Francis Thomas, who has been arrested for negligence in the case of a murder of a Class II student in the school’s toilet in Bhondsi, Gurgaon. Thomas is the northern zone head of the Ryan International Group. He had approached the top court with the plea that his case be transferred from Gurgaon to any Delhi court, as the Bar Association in Gurgaon had refused to fight his case, and as a result, no lawyer in Gurgaon or neghbouring areas was taking up his case. The matter is now before the special court in Gurgaon.
The Court clarified that nobody is authorized to take unilateral decision not to represent Thomas, especially the Bar Association of Gurgaon. The court took note of the fact that the Bar Association after realizing the mistake had withdrawn the resolution passed against Thomas. The counsel for the Bar Association assured the court that none of its members will restrain any lawyer/advocate from fighting the case for Thomas.
However, the Court still ordered that nobody from the Bar Association will create any hurdles for Thomas in his endeavor to hire a lawyer and get a fair trial. It also ordered that nobody will create problems if his family members or his lawyer want to visit him. It cautioned that all office bearers of the Bar Association will ensure that the court’s orders are strictly followed, or else they will be in trouble.
The plea for transfer of the case was dismissed by the Court.
—India Legal Bureau