Of Cabbages and Kings

December 28, 2008

Why defend a terrorist

Filed under: Law — Tags: , , , , , , — Chinmayi @ 12:59 am

The reasoning is similar to why a murderer is entitled to a defence lawyer. With people using brute force to try and prevent defence lawyers from representing the captured Kasab, the issue looms its head again. And again, I offer you borrowed words:

” So important is the right of an accused to have the services of a lawyer that the Constitution-makers were not satisfied with the rights created by the successive Codes of Criminal Procedure. The Constitution-makers introduced it in the chapter on Fundamental Rights so that no tyrannical regime could curtail or destroy it. Article 22 declares that no accused shall be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice…A lawyer worthy of his robes has no option in such a situation…

‘From the moment that any advocate can be permitted to say that he will or will not stand between the Crown and the subject arraigned in the court where he daily sits to practice, from that moment the liberties of England are at an end. If the advocate refuses to defend from what he may think of the charge or of the defence, he assumes the character of the Judge; nay, he assumes it before the hour of judgement; and in proportion to his rank and reputation puts the heavy influence of perhaps a mistaken opinion into the scale against the accused in whose favour the benevolent principle of English law makes all assumptions, and which commands the very Judge to be his Counsel’ [Quoting Erskine]”

From Witch? Yes. Hunt? No by Ram Jethmalani


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