bombay high court

Bombay High Court: In an application for bail for a matter involving offences under Sections 307 and 299 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), S.G. Mehare, J. pointed out misconduct on part of the lawyers appearing for the applicant and the eyewitness and held the applicant’s conduct appropriate ground for rejecting the instant application for bail.

In the instant matter, the applicant sought bail for offences under Sections 307 and 299 of IPC, and the State was served with notice accordingly. The Court pointed out that on 14-06-2023, another counsel appeared for the complainant and time was granted to him for taking instructions. However, on the date of hearing, it was suddenly revealed that instead of the injured or complainant, the affidavit of eyewitness was filed, who had no objection with the grant of bail. The Court regarded the same as a misleading attempt by counsels and accused for the purpose of securing bail.

It was pointed out that the applicant and eyewitness were living in a relationship, thus, the Court inferred that the applicant sent her to his counsel to swear in the affidavit while keeping the injured in dark.

The Court further shed light on the fact that the applicant’s counsel was senior to the eyewitness’ counsel, who were practicing together. The Court refused to entertain the applicant’s counsel’s explanation that it was an inadvertent mistake. While the junior counsel had the chance to refuse to file such an application, he filed the affidavit for eyewitness. The Court held such conduct of lawyers appearing for the respective parties as clear misconduct and referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa for taking necessary action against both the lawyers for their misconduct thereby misleading the Court.

The Court regarded the instant matter as “an example of degrading the legal profession” wherein, the litigant overpowered the profession and legal practitioners provided result-oriented services to please the client. The Court also highlighted the act of misleading the Court, which was a matter of serious concern.

Hence, the Court held the applicant’s conduct appropriate ground for rejecting the instant application for bail. While dismissing the instant application, the Court also explained that the applicant did not deserve bail on merit as well.

The Court further informed through the instant order that both the counsels along with office bearers of the Bar Association appeared before the Court to seek an unconditional apology in written form stating the same to be their mistake and requesting the Court not to refer the matter to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa with the apprehension that it may ruin their professional life if an inquiry is conducted against them. Thus, the Court called back the order directing inquiry and action by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.

[Lakhan Pralhad Misal v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1311, Order dated 22-06-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Applicant: Advocate Bhosle Abhaysinh K.;

For State: Assistant Public Prosecutor V. N. Patil-Jadhav, Advocate Mr. Shardul G. Shinde.

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