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Supreme Court asks lawyers’ body not to obstruct Ryan school murder case

PTI | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the members of the District Bar Association of Gurgaon not to obstruct in any manner the proceedings going on before a special judge there relating to the murder of a seven-year-old student in the Ryan International school.

The apex court was informed by the bar body that they have withdrawn their earlier resolution in which they had said that no lawyer will represent any of the accused in the case. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that an accused has the right to be represented by an advocate and the bar was under an obligation not to obstruct any lawyer from appearing on behalf of an accused.

“We must say without any hesitation that any accused, whatever the offence maybe, has a right to be represented by an advocate. The tradition of bar does not authorise any bar association to pass a resolution like this. However, the solace is realising the fault. The bar association has withdrawn it (resolution),” the bench, also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Francis Thomas, the northern zone head of Ryan Group, seeking transfer of the student murder case from the local court at Sohna, alleging that the bar has restrained lawyers from representing the accused in the sensational case.

Thomas was arrested in connection with the case.During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for Thomas, told the bench there was “hostile atmosphere” at the Sohna court and no lawyer was appearing for the accused in the case.

Class 2 student Pradyuman was found with his throat slit on the morning of September 8 in the toilet of the Ryan International School in Gurgaon. Police allege that 42-year-old bus conductor Ashok Kumar killed him with a knife after the boy resisted an attempt to sodomise him.