Accused can’t appoint power of attorney: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Says presence must during criminal proceedings

Accused can’t appoint power of attorney: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Photo for representation. File photo

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that an accused cannot appoint a power of attorney to represent him in criminal proceedings. The procedure would not only encourage the accused to seek such permissions to avoid personal presence before the trial or any other court, but also put extra burden upon the courts.

Justice Manoj Bajaj also ruled it might further cause delay in conclusion of the criminal proceedings, thereby defeating the aim and object of the penal laws.

The ruling by Justice Bajaj came on a proclaimed offender’s petition challenging orders whereby the trial court issued non-bailable warrants to secure his presence before declaring him a proclaimed offender in an FIR registered in April 2010 for cheating at the Civil Lines police station in Amritsar.

Justice Bajaj was told the petitioner went abroad during the pendency of the case and the trial court’s efforts to secure his presence proved futile. He moved the HC initially for quashing the FIR, claiming continuation of trial against him would be a waste of court’s precious time as his co-accused had been acquitted. The plea was, however, not entertained.

Justice Bajaj asserted proceedings in a criminal trial could not take place in the absence of the accused, except with the court’s permission.

Tribune Shorts


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