India’s defense lawyers are facing a wave of pressure after a judge refused to grant bail to a senior citizen who has spent years in jail on murder charges, a lawyer and a group of prominent lawyers say.
The defence lawyer for the 67-year-old man, who was arrested in December 2016 for allegedly killing a man during a dispute over land in southern Karnataka state, said she would file a case of contempt against the judge.
The court on Monday rejected the defence’s request to postpone the bail application, which would have allowed him to move to jail.
The High Court in January had refused to hear the defence lawyer’s petition for a postponement of the bail hearing, saying it was necessary for the defense lawyer to show evidence that he could not be released on bail because of his age.
However, the court ruled on Tuesday that the defence would be allowed to petition the court to reconsider the bail order.
“We are very confident of the outcome.
We have the power to stop this order and the High Court will not act against the law,” lawyer B.V.K. Jain said.
A group of lawyers representing the family of the victim said they would file another petition in the case on Wednesday.
The case has become a flashpoint for Indian law and justice, with the government’s defence lawyers accused of trying to delay the bail proceedings and even challenging the court in court.
“Justice for our seniors is essential and it is not necessary and unconstitutional for the defence lawyers to delay a trial,” Jain told AFP news agency.
“The trial will be delayed indefinitely.
We are in no hurry to file a petition against the bail decision,” he said.
The police say the 67 year-old died after a quarrel with another man in a rural area in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in 2016.
The police have said he was shot by his estranged wife in self-defence.
The victim’s wife and brother-in-law, the brother of the accused’s wife, are also facing charges in connection with the case.
The 67-y-old victim, who is blind and the only person to die in a court trial, is the second defence lawyer to have been sentenced to jail in India.
He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in December last year on a charge of cheating his wife out of her inheritance after he filed for divorce in 2013.