'Yet to get Bar Council notice': ML Sharma, defence lawyer in December 16 case
A lawyer defending a convict in the December 16 gang rape case said on Saturday he did not receive any showcause notice from the Bar Council of India for his "outrageous" comments in a controversial documentary based on the ghastly case that shook the nation.india Updated: Mar 07, 2015 11:57 IST
The defence counsel of a December 16 gang rape convict said on Saturday that he did not receive any showcause notice from the Bar Council of India (BCI) for his "outrageous" comments in a controversial documentary based on the ghastly case that shook the nation.
"We have not got the notice from the Bar Council of India as yet," ML Sharma, the lawyer of death row inmate Mukesh Singh, told ANI.
Sharma's response came against the backdrop of the Bar Council showcausing him and AK Singh, another defence lawyer in the case, after a documentary on the Delhi gang rape by British film-maker Leslee Udwin was aired on the BBC recently.
"We have issued the show cause notices to ML Sharma and AP Singh for their alleged remarks made in the (BBC) documentary," Bar Council chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said.
The lawyers' apex body took the decision around midnight after its executive committee meeting Friday evening in which it was found that there is a "prima facie" case of professional misconduct against these lawyers.
The documentary -- titled 'India's Daughter' -- includes a controversial interview with Mukesh, the driver of the bus in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by six men on December 16, 2012. The convict blamed the woman for the incident since she was returning late.
India has imposed a ban on the documentary, in which Sharma reportedly said December 16-like incidents could happen again if girls go out without proper security. Both lawyers reportedly made other "outrageous" comments on women's safety and rape.
Sharma added those people who had watched the documentary and spread the word about it were in contempt of the court, as there was a ban on the documentary.
"They have violated the court order. I have only spoken for the safety and security of women. Ladies should be protected from society. Fighting for a female is not crime. I will fight for the rights of women. We should respect our courts," he said.
On social media, the lawyers' comments in the film triggered a massive outpouring of criticism and demands for punishment, with fellow lawyers calling for a revocation of their licenses.
Sharma claimed his comments were misconstrued and misrepresented, and alleged that film-maker Udwin used only a part of what he said.
"She (Udwin) took my interview for 10 days, showed only one line," he was quoted as saying by a television channel.
AK Singh claimed people who were opposed to him were "biased". He said he had received support calls from many people.