first_imgTop StoriesAccused’s Right Of Being Represented Through A Lawyer Is Referable To Fundamental Right To Life: Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK28 Dec 2020 12:25 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has observed that the right of being represented through a counsel is part of due process clause and is referable to the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.Subedar and Buddhu were convicted in a murder case by the Trial Court. During the pendency of their appeal before the Allahabad High Court, Buddhu expired and thus the appeal and the proceedings…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has observed that the right of being represented through a counsel is part of due process clause and is referable to the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.Subedar and Buddhu were convicted in a murder case by the Trial Court. During the pendency of their appeal before the Allahabad High Court, Buddhu expired and thus the appeal and the proceedings in relation to him stood abated. When the appeal came up for final hearing, the High Court noticed that though the cause list contained name of lawyers for the appellant-accused, none of them appeared. Having noted thus, the bench proceeded to consider matter on merits and dismissed the appeal.Before the Apex court, the counsel for the accused submitted that the appeal was disposed of in absence of any representation on behalf of the appellant-accused. In this context, the bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat observed:”It is well accepted that right of being represented through a counsel is part of due process clause and is referable to the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In case the Advocate representing the cause of the accused, for one reason or the other was not available, it was open to the Court to appoint an Amicus Curiae to assist the Court but the cause in any case ought not to be allowed to go unrepresented.”Observing thus, the Court set-aside the judgment passed by the High Court and restored the Criminal Appeal to the file of the High Court to be disposed of afresh.Similar Judgments/ OrdersIn Shaik Mukthar vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Court had observed that when an accused is unrepresented before a Court, it has to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocateIn July, a three judge bench comprising in Sakunthala vs. State relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in K. S. Panduranga v. State of Karnataka (2013) 3 SCC 721, to observe that an appeal against an order of conviction cannot be dismissed in default but must be taken up and decided on merits even if the appellant in-person or the counsel representing him, is not present. Last year, the Supreme Court, in Shankar vs. State of Maharashtra, had observed that, the appeal filed by the accused against the conviction can be disposed of on merits only after hearing the appellant or his counsel. “Where the advocate for the appellant is absent on the date of hearing, the Court shall either appoint an amicus curiae and then decide the appeal. Once the appeal against the conviction is admitted, it is the duty of the Appellate Court either to appoint an advocate as amicus curiae or to nominate a counsel through Legal Services Authority and hear the matter on merits and then dispose of the appeal. When the appellant was not represented by the advocate, in our view, the High Court ought not to have decided the matter on merits and the impugned order is liable to be set aside and the matter is remitted back to the High Court.”, it was observed by the bench comprising of Justices R. Banumathi and AS Bopanna. Case: Subedar vs. State of Uttar Pradesh  [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.886 OF 2020] Coram: Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat Counsel: AOR Qurratulain, AOR Sanjay Kumar TyagiClick here to Read/Download OrderRead OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more