Karnataka

PUCL criticises Mysuru Bar Association’s resolution

Lawyers at the Mysuru court complex on Monday after signing the Vakalatnama on behalf of Nalini Balakumar, who has been booked for sedition by the city police.

Lawyers at the Mysuru court complex on Monday after signing the Vakalatnama on behalf of Nalini Balakumar, who has been booked for sedition by the city police.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Mysuru has criticised the resolution adopted by the Mysuru Advocates’ Association against representing the accused in the sedition case booked by the Mysuru police.

The police had booked a case of sedition after Nalini Balakumar held a placard that read ‘Free Kashmir’ at a protest organised by various groups including University of Mysore Research Scholars’ Association and Dalit Students’ Federation against CAA and NRC at Manasagangothri. Instead of facilitating justice, the lawyers are behaving like judges, regretted Lakshminarayana of PUCL in Mysuru, calling for withdrawal of its resolution.

Several members of PUCL had gathered in Mysuru Court Complex on Monday when lawyers from different parts of the State turned up to sign the Vakalathnama to represent Ms. Balakumar.

The lawyers who turned up to express solidarity regretted that the association passed such a resolution even after she clarified that her intention to hold up the placard was only to bring to the notice the Internet shutdown in Kashmir for the past five months and not to case any kind of hatred.

Journalist activist Gururaj, who was also present in the court complex on Monday, said the association’s resolution was tantamount to suppression of the advocates’ right and freedom to represent seekers of justice.

Meanwhile, the signatories to the Vakalathnama included lawyers from Mysuru despite the Mysuru Advocates’ Association upholding its resolution against representing the accused in the case. Manjula Manasa, an advocate and former chairperson of Karnataka State Women’s Commission, said she was one of the signatories.

Advocate Raghunath, representing Maridevaiah, president, University of Mysore Research Scholars’ Association, and Dalit Students’ Federation, said he had signed the Vakalathnama in favour of his client before the association could adopt the resolution. He added that there was ambiguity in the resolution. There is lack of clarity on whether the resolution was only against the person holding the placard or against all the accused in the sedition case, he said. More than 200 lawyers in Mysuru had signed the appeal submitted seeking a review of its resolution against appearing for the accused in the case.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 3:30:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pucl-criticises-mysuru-bar-associations-resolution/article30610625.ece

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