Free Press Journal

Supreme Court deprecates lawyer for saying her client will be raped


New Delhi: The Supreme Court today deprecated a lawyer for saying that her client, a fugitive businesswoman residing in London, is getting threats from lenders that she will be molested and raped on arrival in India.

The top court asked the woman’s counsel to “behave responsibly” or it will refer her to Bar Council of India for appropriate action.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar said that such arguments cannot be allowed in the Supreme Court and lawyers need to make their arguments responsibly.

The court was hearing a case of businesswoman Ritika Awasty, a promoter of Bush Foods Overseas Pvt Ltd, who is facing criminal trial in Uttar Pradesh on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust but is evading arrest after she was allowed to go to London by the top court last year to see her husband and daughter.

“Be responsible madam. What is happening here. This is Supreme Court which means Supreme Court. These type of arguments cannot be allowed here.

“Since when lawyers are becoming spokesperson of their clients. You have to behave responsibly or we will refer you to Bar Council of India,” the bench warned the counsel for businesswoman.

The counsel then apologised to the court and said that she had received the affidavit from her client only in the morning and was only stating the facts.

The apex court then directed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to expeditiously complete the proceedings to declare the businesswoman proclaimed offender.

It even directed attaching of the properties in the name of Awasty and her husband in India.

Earlier, this week on December 12, the apex court had pulled up the Centre for “not even bothering about” its orders on extradition matters and questioned the government’s will in getting persons evading law back from foreign countries.

Awasty was allowed by the apex court to travel to London to see her husband and daughter on January 2016 after giving an undertaking that she will return by March 31, 2016.

However, the time was later extended till May 31, 2016, but she did not return from London which compelled the apex court to forfeit her security of Rs 86 lakh, cancellation of her bail and initiation of contempt proceedings.

Awasty had challenged the Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash FIR lodged against her but was granted bail and allowed to travel abroad by the apex court.

The court had also revoked her passport after she failed to return to India by May 31, 2016.