Road rage: Lawyer for victim's kin rejects Manipur Bar claim
A lawyer who had filed a petition in Supreme Court on behalf of the parents of a youth, allegedly killed in a road rage incident by the son of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, on Tuesday contradicted the claim of a Manipur lawyer's body that he had 'tarnished' the image of judicial system of the state.
The All Manipur Bar Association had on Monday rejected the allegations that the lawyers in the state had steered clear of a case involving the son of the Chief Minister as they "fear for their lives".
In a statement, advocate Utsav Bains, who appeared in the apex court for victim Irom Roger's mother Irom Chitra Devi, said "the evidence of the refusal to represent in the case by advocates at Manipur High Court have been submitted to the Supreme Court."
Bains said rather than holding a press conference, the lawyers should have helped the victim's mother get justice and added that he has already submitted in the apex court the evidence of refusal by advocates.
He claimed he had evidence to show how lawyers in Manipur refused to represent the family of Roger.
"It's a really a sorry state of affairs. Lawyers join the noble profession and it is our duty to make people, who are in need, get justice. Except in the manner as set out in the Bar Council Rules, lawyers cannot refuse to represent anyone.
"I am just doing my duty as a lawyer, despite there being threat to my life from terrorists. I decided to file an appeal against the order of the sessions judge on behalf of the victim's mother and represent them in the High Court of Manipur at Imphal," Bains said.
Ajay Meetai, son of the chief minister, was awarded a five-year jail term by a sessions court in January this year under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC for firing at Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him.
The road rage incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister's son.
Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, assisted by Bains, had yesterday told the apex court that no one from Manipur had dared to file an appeal in the high court against the five-year jail term awarded to Meetai.
Advocate L Roshmani of the bar association at a press conference here yesterday had said that the charges made by Bains had "tarnished" the image of the judicial system of Manipur.
"The entire judicial process stands the risk of being jeopardised by such irresponsible and reckless statements. I wish he (Bains) had some evidence to back his allegations.
This matter needs to be dealt with appropriately," Roshmani had said.
The association has claimed to have approached the Bar Council of India urging it to initiate disciplinary action against Bains and threatened to take legal action against him.
Irom Chitra Devi had moved the Supreme Court alleging that they were being threatened and the lawyers in the state have refused to challenge the order of the sessions judge due to the clout of the chief minister.
The apex court had yesterday asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of Roger, observing that without any reason, no one had the courage to make allegations against the chief minister.