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Karanjawala for Ryan murder accused in SC, gets bar associations to back-off from restraining legal representation

"The Supreme Court on Monday criticised the bar association of the Gurgaon district courts for passing a resolution calling upon lawyers to not defend the accused in the murder of a sevenyear-old student at Ryan International School. A three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, warned local lawyers against preventing the advocates of the accused from appearing in court and defending them," reported the Economic Times.

Karanjawala & Co partner Sandeep Kapur, senior associates Vivek Suri and Karan Seth and associates Niharika Karanjawala and Apoorva Pandey briefed senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Francis Thomas - the northern zone head of the Ryan International Schools, who is accused of the murder of a seven year old student of the school in Gurugram.

Advocates Sushil K Tekriwal, Mamta Tekriwal and VR Anumolu acted for the state.

Advocates Ravindr Kumar Yadav and Arti Anupriya acted for the District Bar Association Gurgaon. It was a writ for the transfer of the case from the magistrate's court in Sohna to the sessions court in Saket seeing as the district bar associations - theLawyers Bar Association of Sohna and Lawyers Bar Association of Gurugram - had passed a resolution on 9 September 2017 restraining all lawyers in those courts from appearing in the case.

Yadav. acting for the Gurugram association submitted to the Supreme Court that the Gurugram association had now withdrawn that resolution.

The judges wrote in their order:

At this stage, it is necessary to state without any hesitation that an accused, whatever the offence may be, has the inherent right to be represented by a counsel of his choice. The tradition of the Bar and the fundamental conception pertaining to access to justice does not permit any Bar Association to pass a resolution of the nature that had been done. However, the solace is that after realising the fault, the Bar Association has withdrawn the resolution. It is a redeeming act.

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