Rights of an accused to be Defended

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News:Recently, the Karnataka High Court has observed that it is unethical and illegal for lawyers to pass resolutions against representing accused in court.

Facts:

Constitution on the rights of an accused:

  • Article 22(1):It gives the fundamental right to every person not to be denied the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his or her choice.
  • Article 14:It provides for equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  • Article 39A: It is part of the Directive Principles of state policy.It states that equal opportunity to secure justice must not be denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and provides for free legal aid.

Supreme Court Cases Relating to resolutions by bar associations:

S Mohammed Rafi vs State of Tamil Nadu,2010:

  • The Court observed that such resolutions are wholly illegal as it is against all norms of the Constitution, the statute and professional ethics.
  • Every person however wicked, depraved or repulsive he may be regarded by society has a right to be defended in a court of law and correspondingly, it is the duty of the lawyer to defend him.