The backgrounds and economic status of defendants often prove to be an obstacle in the pursuit of a fair trial, Supreme Court Justice S Ravindra Bhat said on Sunday.
Addressing a virtual criminal law moot court competition organized by Delhi University’s Campus Law Centre, Justice Bhat said the practical realities of a criminal trial are daunting. He was presiding over the 18th KK Luthra Moot Court event, the only internationally organized criminal law moot court in the country.
“External factors such as the background and economic status of the accused very often prove to be an obstacle in the pursuit of a fair trial,” Judge Bhat said, adding that this is compounded by the legal costs cited by lawyers and the limitation of cross-examination. witnesses during the trial,” the court’s top judge said.
He added: “It is the poorest and most desperate who need legal aid who are denied it. Ultimately, there is the loss of more than one life – the life of the deceased, the life of the misrepresented accused, and the lives of both of their families.
The pleading event, held in memory of leading criminal lawyer KK Luthra, was held virtually with the participation of 66 teams from reputable legal institutions around the world.
The final round of the event held on Sunday was judged by three judges from the Delhi High Court – Judges Najmi Waziri, Yashwant Varma and Subramonium Prasad. The Moot Court problem revolved around the most intriguing aspect of the murder, specifically the last-seen theory and circumstantial evidence.
Judge Bhat said, “Cases involving death are the most difficult cases for a judge to decide, especially when it comes to this case of circumstantial evidence.” He urged the winners and participating students to help those who are ill-equipped to deal with the inequities plaguing the criminal justice system. He said the essence of personal freedom in obtaining bail can only be protected if lawyers master the knowledge of the law.
Teams representing National Law Universities, Central Indian Universities Law Schools and top Universities from UK, Brunei, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe participated in the virtual event which kicked off on March 7. The competition was organized by experienced lawyers. Sidharth Luthra and Geeta Luthra in memory of their father.
The team from Symbiosis Law School in Pune won the competition, followed by the team from Jamia Millia Islamia Law School.