Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Counsel access granted to Maoist leader

Chennai, August 24: The Madras High Court today permitted Chandra Prakash Gajurel, jailed member of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), to engage a lawyer of his choice in the case against him under IPC sections and the Passport Act being tried by a suburban court.

Allowing a petition filed by Gajurel, Justice D Murugesan held that the petitioner's request to engage an advocate of his choice was a fundamental right and could not be curtailed.

A couple of days ago, an Alundur Judicial Magistrate had rejected a plea by Gajurel for permission to engage advocate Vijaykumar on the ground that he was not on the legal aid panel of lawyers for the Alandur court.

Justice Murugesan directed that the lawyer nominated by Gajurel be paid remuneration applicable to advocates of the legal aid cell.

Gajurel, a politburo member of the party, was arrested on August 20, 2003 while attempting to leave from here for London on a forged passport.

He is lodged in the Central Jail here. (Our Correspondent)

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