State Brief/ Lawyer cannot withdraw himself from a case alleging difficulty to conduct the case “by telling lies in the Court”

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A State Brief, who was appointed for the appellant to prosecute the Criminal Appeal filed by him against conviction and sentence under Section 302 of the Penal Code, expressed his desire to withdraw from the case as he is facing difficulty to conduct the case – “by telling lies in the Court.” His moral compass was playing havoc with him and he could no longer take the constant falsity that had to be followed to get the client acquitted.

Dealing with such a strange request, division bench of K. T. Sankaran and Babu Mathew JJ, opined that the State Brief cannot express his view to the Court about the falsity or otherwise of the case of the accused.

The Court stated that it is not the duty of the State Brief or any lawyer to tell lies before Court while defending an accused, infact he is duty bound to present the case for and on behalf of the accused with reference to the materials on record and bring to the notice of the Court the facts which will go to the benefit of the accused. The Court added that an advocate should fearlessly defend a person accused of a crime regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, bearing in mind that his loyalty is to the law which requires that no man should be convicted without adequate evidence.

 The Court directed the Registry to appoint another State Brief to deal with the matter, as the present State Brief has expressed his unwillingness to appear in the case. The Court further directed that the name of the State Brief shall not be mentioned in the judgment and in law journals to avoid embarrassment to the counsel and also not to discourage him.

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