Bilkis Bano case: SC expresses surprise to see the accused plead

Debjit Mukherjee: An acquitted accused in the Bilkis Bano case was pleading in and the Supreme Court expressed surprise knowing that. The incident came to light on Thursday during a hearing of the Bilkis Bano case in the Supreme Court. A case was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the release of the rape accused. Rishi Malhotra, the lawyer of one of the accused named Radheshyam Shah, raised his case in response to the question. He said he was accused in the Bilkis case. A year has passed since his release, but no case has been filed against him, he said. Being a lawyer by profession, Rishi Malhotra continues to advocate. He also said that he had advocated in a case earlier.

Justice Ujjal Bhuiya observed that law is a noble profession. He questioned how Rishi Malhotra got a license to practice law even after being convicted. The judge of the apex court asked the bar council to answer this. The lawyer clarified that he has no idea why the lawyer’s license was given despite the conviction. Section 24A of the Advocates Act provides that no person convicted of a moral offense shall be enrolled as an advocate.