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Criminal Lawyer: High Court cannot decide the appeal, in the absence of the accused, for offence under Sec 138 NI Act; SC.

Supreme Court of India 
Justice R Banumathi and Justice A S Bopanna
The supreme Court {Christopher Raj vs K Vijay Kumar} set aside the judgement of the high court by which acquittal of the accused under section 138 NI Act was reversed by the High Court.
It was held by the SC that as the appellant accused did not appear in the criminal appeal before the High Court, and when the accused has not entered appearance in the High Court; the high court should have issued second notice to the appellant / accused or the high court legal services committee to appoint an advocate or the High Court could have taken the assistance of amicus curiae. When the accused was not represented, without appointing any Counsel as amicus curiae to defend the accused, the high court ought not to have decided the criminal appeal on merits; more so, when the accused had the benefit of the acquittal. Accordingly the appeal was allowed, and the matter was remanded back to the High Court for deciding the appeal afresh, after affording opportunity of hearing to both parties.

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