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Lawyers flay Akhil stand

- Leader urged not to rake up row over legal profession

Guwahati, Sept. 4: The All Assam Lawyers’ Association today urged KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi to refrain from creating a public debate over the legal profession in the state.

The association was reacting to Akhil’s remark yesterday that state BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya as a lawyer should not have represented Saradha chief Sudipta Sen in a case against a news channel in the court of the Kamrup district judge.

Akhil said Bhattacharya had represented the scam-tainted company, which had no permission either from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to collect deposits from people.

“Apart from being a lawyer, Bhattacharya is a politician and shouldn’t he have verified the credentials of the deposit-collecting company before representing it in a court of law?” Akhil, who heads the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, (KMSS) said.

The lawyers’ association’s general secretary, Saliendra Das, told reporters here this afternoon that even if a professional lawyer was a member of a political party, he or she had the liberty to follow different principles in case of his profession and politics. He said according to the Advocate Act 1961, a lawyer cannot reject anyone from representing in the court of law.

Quoting the Bar Council of India Rules, Das said, “An advocate is bound to accept any brief in the courts or tribunals or before any other authority in or before which he proposes to practice at a fee consistent with his standing at the Bar and the nature of the case. Special circumstances may justify his refusal to accept a particular brief.”

Das said since Akhil was a mass leader and could influence thousands of people he should not make controversial comment on lawyers.

The association’s media in-charge, Aparajita Bhuyan, said till a person was convicted by the court, he or she was treated as innocent in the eye of the law. She said if a lawyer represented a person with criminal background it did not imply that he supported his crime and the court would give verdict in his favour.

“The Indian judiciary is very strong and has been able to deliver justice over the years. We all must have faith in the judiciary,” Bhuyan said.

Das said the police must play a pivotal role in producing substantial evidence in the court to help the lawyers to ensure punishment to criminals.


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