The petitioner’s counsel had told the high court that the trial judge had not allowed lawyers to assist his client during the process of admission and denial of documents.
The high court observed that it was the right of the accused to seek advice and assistance of his counsel at all stages of trial, irrespective of whether he is literate or illiterate.
Regarding an instance where the trial court had turned down the plea of one of the accused seeking exemption from personal appearance for one day on the ground that his father was admitted in hospital and he was the only son, the bench said, “Heavens would not have fallen, had the accused been exempted” that day.
“It is human beings who are put to trial, and they deserved to be treated as human beings with the same dignity as any other person. Merely because they are accused of an offence, it does not mean that they have lost their right to be treated with respect and dignity.
“Even a convict has to be treated with dignity and courtesy. The court cannot exhibit such indifference in its attitude to the rights and needs of an accused.
“The special judge should have appreciated the anxiety through which the petitioner/accused would have been undergoing on account of his 90-year-old father being admitted in ICU of a hospital while he was away to court to attend the hearing of the case in which he is an accused,” the bench said.