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Anokhilal vs State of Madhya Pradesh

Anokhilal vs State of Madhya Pradesh [AIR 2020 SC 232]

The trial court passed judgment in a rape case and sentenced the accused for death. The whole trial conducted expeditiously without waiting for DNA & FSL report as well as without giving adequate opportunity to the Amicus Curiae for reading the papers, consult with accused and examination of evidence.

Guidelines for appointment of Amicus Curiae

The Supreme Court laid down some guidelines for appointment of Amicus Curiae especially in cases where the death sentence could be one of the alternative punishment. Following are the guidelines which should be followed by the trial Court as well as High Court in the appointment of Amicus Curiae:

i) In all cases where there is a possibility of a life sentence or death sentence, learned Advocates who have put in a minimum of 10 years practice at the Bar alone be considered to be appointed as Amicus Curiae or through legal services to represent an accused.

ii) In all matters dealt with by the High Court concerning confirmation of death sentence, Senior Advocates of the Court must first be considered to be appointed as Amicus Curiae.

iii) Whenever any learned counsel is appointed as Amicus Curiae, some reasonable time may be provided to enable the counsel to prepare the matter. There cannot be any hard and fast rule on that behalf. However, a minimum of seven days’ time may normally be considered to be appropriate and adequate.

iv) Any learned counsel, who is appointed as Amicus Curiae on behalf of the accused must normally be granted to have meetings and discussion with the concerned accused. Such interactions may prove to be helpful as was noticed in Imtiyaz Ramzan Khan [(2018) 9 SCC 160]

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

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