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High Court order to Legal Services Authority to Review pending cases for lack of appointment of lawyers Mumbai SEDI News

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The accused have not been provided a lawyer despite their demand for a lawyer. The High Court recently directed the Legal Services Authority to review such pending cases. The court has ordered to conduct this review in order to hear the appeals filed by the accused on priority basis.

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A single bench of Justice Kotwal passed this order during the hearing of the plea filed by the accused, who was convicted in August 2019 for raping a minor girl. Due to unnecessary reasons, long pending cases lead to prejudice among the prisoners. Therefore, in order to give priority to the appeals, the legal services authority of the court needs to look into this matter and review all the pending cases in this way, explained Justice Kotwal.

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The accused filed the petition in 2019. He had requested the court to appoint a lawyer to present his case stating that the financial condition of the house was dire. The accused had said in the petition that the decision of the lower court could not be challenged as it was not possible to appoint a private lawyer due to the poor financial situation of the family. Taking cognizance of the petition of the accused, the court ordered him to be provided with a lawyer. Accordingly, in July this year, the accused was provided a lawyer by the Legal Services Authority of the High Court. The accused then filed an appeal against the sentence through this lawyer.

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There is a provision to file an appeal within 90 days after the judgment of the lower court. However, the petitioner has been in custody since 28th May 2015 and has not been provided a lawyer despite his request. As a result, he was delayed for two years and 316 days from August 2019 to file the appeal. The lawyers of the accused also requested the court to condone the delay in filing the appeal considering his circumstances. The court also accepted the request of the accused. It also directed the Legal Services Authority to review the pending cases for lack of appointment of advocates for many years.

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