This remarkable heritage has been followed by Indian lawyers. The lawyers of our great nation had defended the Bengal revolutionaries during British rule, the Indian communists in the Meerut conspiracy case, the Razakars of Hyderabad, Sheikh Abdulah and his co-accused, and some of the alleged assassins of Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi. Dr. Binayak Sen’s case has recently been defended. No reputable Indian lawyer has ever shied away from duty on the grounds that it would make him unpopular or personally hazardous. The distinguished Bombay High Court lawyer Bhulabhai Desai represented the accused in the INA trials in the Red Fort in Delhi in this great tradition.
In the administration of Justice, the function of the lawyer is critical. Professional ethics bind the advocate, and he must uphold a high level. His obligations are to the court, his own client, the opposing party, and to maintain the respect of opposing counsel. What is appropriate for others in society may not be appropriate for him to do since he belongs to the society’s renowned intellectual class and is a member of the noble profession, where higher expectations are placed on him. In today’s society, advocates are respected. People have a great deal of faith in the judiciary and judicial system, and a lawyer is the first person who deals with them. Litigants put their trust in a lawyer and disclose privileged information with them. They signed their names everywhere a lawyer requested them to. An advocate’s job is to protect the rights of his clients and to guarantee that justice is served in a fair and impartial manner. The roles of Judges and lawyers are complementary in the task of administering justice, and practising lawyers as a class are an integral part of the system, assisting Judges in the discharge of their function of reaching justice for litigants appearing before the Courts. In other words, practising lawyers, who are essentially partners in the Judges’ work of administering justice, have a vested interest in the preservation of a brave and independent judiciary to ensure that litigants receive fair and fearless justice.
Following the tradition of our great nation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court at numerous occasion have held that the right of an accused to be defended by lawyer is a constitutional right and cannot be taken away. The Hon’ble Supreme Court even held that the criminal appeal could not be dismissed for default of appearance of the appellants or their counsel. The Court has to either adjourn the hearing of the appeal or it should consider the hearing the appeal on merits and pass final orders.