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Guj. HC dismisses reference on interpretation of S. 225 of Cr.P.C.
Post Date: Dec 10, 2010

The Gujarat High Court has dismissed a reference made by a sessions judge seeking the High Court to decide as to whether or not an advocate of a private complainant can continue to represent his client in a criminal case even after his client's demise.

A division bench comprising Justices Jayant Patel and SR Brahmbhatt dismissed the reference made by sessions judge PB Desai and remanded the matter back to him to decide the issue.

The sessions judge had made a reference to the court as he felt that the questions of law have arisen for interpretation of section 225 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Section 225 provides that prosecution in every trial before a court of session would be conducted by a public prosecutor. The reference was made by Judge Desai, in a criminal proceedings relating to corruption in a land deal, which allegedly involves officials of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA).

The issue
One Pankaj Modi had filed a criminal complaint against AUDA and five others for indulging in corrupt practices by allowing his plot near Vinzol to be sold in fraudulent manner. The accused included a co-ordination officer of AUDA - Nila Kapadiya, the then Talati-cum-Mantri of Vinzol village – Shrinivas Kulkarni, advocate CR Patel, and Modi's family members Himanshu Modi and Nalini Modi.

Modi had alleged that along with his relatives, he too was co-owner of four pieces of land in the outskirts of Ahmedabad city. He claimed that his brother and mother in collusion with the revenue authorities sold off the land to AUDA without taking his consent.

In court proceeding, Modi has been represented by his lawyer Vinod Brahmbhatt. During the pendency of the court proceedings, the litigant died, but the legal battle is being pursued by his advocate Brahmbhatt. Finding a prima-facie case in the matter following the lawyer's representation, a Sessions court had ordered to register a criminal case against the five and to send them bailable warrants.

After Modi's demise, one of the accused person moved an application stating that the litigant was no more and with his death, the contract with his lawyer Brahmbhatt too ended. Hence Brahmbhatt cannot continue to represent Modi in this case, and the case should be handled by a public prosecutor as the court has already taken cognizance of the case.

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