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Madras HC says legal support to poor lacking

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Chennai, April 4 (IANS) Acquitting three Dalit men in a girl child rape-cum-murder case, the Madras High Court has noted a lack of availability of good legal support for the poor.

“This is a matter of great concern for us and we are afraid that we are not able to make available quality legal service for the underprivileged accused… who would not have had the wherewithal to engage top-notch advocates,” the Madurai Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and B. Pugalendhi noted on Wednesday.

The court directed the police to find whether attempts were made to protect the real culprits and ordered the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the parents of the girl victim within three months.

The court lamented that while the rich were able to get the best of the legal brains for defense, the poor were left to defend themselves and justice becomes a casualty.

It also suggested to the Bar Council to focus on this area so that the poor can get legal support.

The court was hearing an appeal of the two who were sentenced to death while the third person who for want of money did not prefer an appeal.

According to the prosecution, a minor girl in a village in Theni district was kidnapped, raped and killed in 2014.

In October 2018, the trial court sentenced the three to death.



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